After years of cessation, the Great Field Party is back with a bang, with good reason as to why it was discontinued after some years of success. Student Representative Council Projects Manager Tebogo Molatlhegi has answers to our burning questions.
A conversation relevant to the Great Field Party is one in which is considered exceptionally foreign for those who have never experienced or seen the social event with their own two eyes. Surprisingly, three years ago marked a sudden and brief discontinuity of the well-received crowd -pleaser, as the last official Great Field Party was in 2015. An end of a well-known tradition, and commencement of speculation by students puzzled by a plug pulled on an event considered to many as an established Rhodes University tradition. According to Student Representative Council Projects Manager Tebogo Molatlhegi, the issues concerning the event are rather complex.
“The last official Great Field Party was in 2015, which was outsourced to a service provider to assist in organising the event. 2015 was also the year in which the protesting action began, so the service provider had some concerns with the political stance of the institution,” she explained, admitting that attempting to host a party that would potentially overshadow the issues that students had been dealing with was another one of the issues faced amongst many others and the reason why the service provider withdrew his services.
This year the event -according to the project’s manager- is certain to be unlike those that came before, as there is more pressure for success, and three years’ worth of the absence of a Great Field Party can make for some high expectations.
“Now that everything is stable in terms of protesting action, the SRC of 2018 decided that it would now be safe to host a party. The SRC reached out to the former service provider who assisted in 2015. After having meetings with him and negotiating on a contract, he agreed in providing his service for the party,” said Molatlhegi, revealing possibilities of more day activities such as a braai, games, powder paint throwing, skydiving, and having sponsors bring more for their stations such as an interesting set up, games, and bar service.
“2015. I remember the whole night. It was great fun and the acts were good. Painting our overalls was a blast and the hype around it was awesome,” said student Rikal Naidoo, also evoking the heartbreak she felt upon its cessation.
Fortunately, the 2018 Great Field Party is set for 5 May 2018 at the Rhodes University Great Field. Geared up and ready to pick up straight where it left off.
words by Kananelo Tsuene
images by Scarlett Hartzenberg