J&B Met: Everything you need to know about race day

The J&B Met is one of the most anticipated events on Cape Town’s summer social calendar. We’ve got all the information you could possibly need right here…

Right, let’s get the basics out of the way up front. The J&B Met takes place each January (watch this space for exact dates for 2017) at the Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town. The event, which starts at 10h00, is only open to those over the age of 18. The big race — the J&B Met — is usually run at 16h30, and the racecourse closes at midnight.

Tickets: When it comes to tickets, you can choose between a basic general entry ticket, a grand stand ticket, which gives you unreserved seating on the winning straight, and a FlipSide Fest ticket. Tickets can be purchased through Computicket and designated tote offices around Cape Town.

Theme: Every year the J&B Met has a different theme. While it’s by no means obligatory, you are expected to put a little effort into dressing up to match the theme. But fret not, the themes tend to be pretty vague so there’s plenty of room for interpretation. Mash up textures, styles, or patterns to create that one-of-a-kind flamboyant, sexy or elegant ensemble.

Entertainment: Sure, horses are the stars of this particular show, but for those with short attention spans or limited equine enthusiasm, there will also be a line-up of hilarious emcees introducing some of South Africa’s hottest musicians. Of course, the J&B Met is not the J&B Met without the Most Elegant Couple competition.

What to bring: Some form of identification (in case you win big or look decidedly youthful); money and bank cards (there will be ATMs dotted around the venue and some totes will allow you to draw money using your debit card); sunscreen; a hat and a beach umbrella (no branding allowed); something warm to wear if you plan to stay after the sun goes down.

What to leave at home: Most of these are pretty obvious — no firearms, weapons, fireworks, or explosives — but some are perhaps worth mentioning. You are also not allowed to bring alcohol into the venue; there will be plenty of bars serving up your favourite tipple. While beach umbrellas are allowed, gazebos or portable shade structures are not. And finally, while it might seem like a good idea to pack in your vuvuzela, the noise scares the horses, so leave it at home.

Parking: If you decide to drive to the J&B Met — not a good call if you plan on frequenting those pop-up bars — you’ll want to park in the Youngsfield parking area. It’s the easiest public parking area to access and a free shuttle service will take you to and from the racecourse. It costs, but that is a lot less than you’ll end up paying if you get fined for parking illegally in the residential area around the racecourse. In total, there are five different parking lots, which accommodate 20 000 vehicles, in a one kilometre radius of the racecourse.

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