This year the 2020 Durban July is going virtual and will use technology to â€œclose the distances that we are required to keep between us this yearâ€. Itâ€™s said that the Durban July has enjoyed an uninterrupted history since first being run in 1897 (not even two world wars prevented the race from being run) and apparently this year will be no different.
In a recent statement, organisers said that horse racing fans can take heart that the 2020 Durban July will take place this year, but as a broadcast-only event behind closed doors. The event that will take place at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Saturday 25 July will also see the fashion team â€œkeep fashion alive wherever possibleâ€.
â€˜A key part of the 124-year-old iconic race dayâ€™
This situation is seen as a good opportunity to keep the passion for the pre-race day and off-site race day fashion elements alive as it has always been â€œa key part of the 124-year-old iconic race dayâ€.
â€œFashion will still be a focal point of the Durban July, but the format will change to comply with the â€˜behind closed doorsâ€™ requirements of the event,â€ said Tiffany Prior, the eventâ€™s fashion coordinator. â€œThe Butterflies theme is amazing as it touches on metamorphosis and change which is top of mind at the moment,â€ she added.
The vibrant Durban July Young Designer Award is also a vital component of the eventâ€™s annual fashion programme, and the students and their aspirations would feature prominently as part of the coverage on race day.
â€œMany of the colleges have had the 2020 Durban July as part of their curriculum since the beginning of the year and we will do whatever is technically possible to feature them as part of our race day broadcast.â€ She added that the race day itself would still be a high point of the fashion calendar, even if spectators are not there to fill the grandstands, suites and hospitality marquees.
â€œIt actually doesnâ€™t matter where you are on the day as we have seen in the past, many people make sure they look amazing. The unique challenge in 2020 is to find a way for people to see you. Use technology to close the distances that we are required to keep between us this year and we will see you, in whatever form, as part of the Durban July,â€ she reassured. More information on the fashion elements will be provided in the coming weeks.
A VIP virtual experience
It is said that the event will broadcast live on YouTube as well as bet365. And now, though youâ€™ll be watching the event from the comfort of your own home, some marquees like the Pegasus Lounge are offering you a VIP virtual experience if you pay R1900.Â