South Africa’s largest venue TicketPro Dome closes its doors
Bad news from South Africa. TicketPro Dome, the largest and most loved indoor venue in that territory, closes its doors after two decades of service to showbiz. It is the end of an era for this charismatic venue that has hosted so many international stars over the years.
Under the name of the Coca Cola Dome, the venue opened its doors for the first time in April 1998 for a concert by Diana Ross attended by over 15,000 people and featuring the special appearance of Nelson Mandela. Other names that have graced the Dome’s stage were Black Coffee, Lauryn Hill, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Pharell Williams and Michael Bublé.
But what happened to the TicketPro Dome? COVID-19. One of the most memorable venues in South Africa is a casualty of the pandemic and how the entertainment industry was so poorly protected from this scourge. According to RX Venue Management, which has operated in Johannesburg for 20 years, the Dome was completely inactive due to the lockdowns, leading to a fatal drop in its subsistence income. Carol Weaving, MD of RX Africa further added that:
‘This is extremely disappointing and heartbreaking for our industry. The Ticketpro Dome has been home to many international concerts and events in South Africa, and this will undoubtedly leave a huge void. (…) The constant changes and severity of the Covid-19 restrictions have wreaked havoc amongst our stakeholders and across the supply chain. This has meant we were unable to change the outcome of Sasol Pension Fund’s decision to sell the venue due to a force majeure. We want to thank all our customers, suppliers, and partners for their support over the past 20 years.’
The 20,000-capacity venue will no longer host show business. The owner Sasol Pension Fund sold the Dome to WeBuyCars that will transform the building into a giant used car dealership. Set to open on September 7, the WeBuyCars showroom will display 1,500 vehicles, making it one of the biggest car showrooms in the world. Leading South African promoter Big Concerts said in a statement that:
‘We are saddened by the news that the Dome will be closing their doors. Since 1998, we have promoted 186 shows at the Dome. To all our friends at the Ticketpro Dome, it’s been a pleasure working with you all, we will miss you terribly!’
Image Credit: TicketPro Dome (via Facebook)