Robben Island

A Robben Island party has been cancelled amid social media backlash.

‘Party at Auschwitz?’: Robben Island bash gets mixed views

The next Ibiza? South Africans have reacted in both horror and interest to a ‘silent disco’ which was set to take place on Robben Island…

Robben Island

A Robben Island party has been cancelled amid social media backlash.

A party planned to take place on Robben Island has become a hot topic on Twitter. However, South Africans are in two minds about it…

The Sunset Silent Disco has been cancelled after organisers were inundated with complaints about utilising the historic venue, which was home to hundreds of political prisoners during Apartheid.

But while some have slammed it as sacrilege, others have expressed interest in it being converted into a “party destination,” like the Spanish island of Ibiza.


As previously reported by The South African, Silent Events SA came under fire over the weekend for a promotional poster of their “silent disco”. The event was initially set to take place on 18 February at Robben Island.

Tickets for the five-hour party were priced at R750 and included a ferry ride to and from the destination. Organisers cited the “world-class” venue as having an “ecologically sustainable” setting.

But many tweeps disagreed and shunned the company for “disrespecting” a historical site.

@SydenhamStekkie: “I thought of Auschwitz when I heard about the shindig at Robben Island. Bizarre, inappropriate, unscrupulous, and just wrong. It’s all about the $$$ for some people.”

@whylerato: “On the list of appalling things.”

@RefilWest: “What happened to shame…? Lives ended on that island. Dancing on the literal & figurative graves of our history. This is sick. Disrespectful and sick.”

Others, however, expressed interest in attending the now cancelled event.

Some tweeps even revisited old tweets where many South Africans proposed the idea of marketing Robben Island for a commercial interest.


Meanwhile, Silent Events have issued a formal apology for the event, which they claimed was organised in partnership with the Robben Island Museum (RIM).

According to the organisers, the event was planned to take place “a long way from prison and graves.” The organisers also claimed that the event would not harm the ecology nor compromise the island’s history. Additionally, proceeds from the event would be given to an indigenous tree-planting programme.

It said in a statement: “The concept of the event, as suggested by RIM, was to promote a positive future perception of the island; diversely attended a celebration of racial unity and freedom which would produce funds for the ecological work that is sorely needed there.

“This event was planned in good faith, with the aim of bringing people together. We thought the initiative would be recognised with this intention.

“We have seen and heard much reaction to the contrary and so, in agreement with Robben Island Museum, have decided to cancel the event and apologise for any offence that the idea may have caused.”