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The Simonsberg Metropolitan (Met) never fails to impress, as was certainly the case this year at its 60th event. 60 is clearly not the retirement age for this electrifying event. The Met celebrated six decades of proud history, which is reflected in the quality of the event itself. Featuring performances from The Loadshedders and Neon Dreams, 17 February was a night to remember for years to come. 

The 60th Met, held at the end of the first week of classes, as tradition dictates, was an accelerator for future events like it. According to Angus Herridge, a third year Simonsberg resident and Met committee member, “The 60th Met is a huge milestone for us. It is really nice to see that the tradition and culture has carried through the years.” 

COMING AROUND THE BEND: First years leaving not giving an inch in the race to the finish line. Photo: Anakin Curtis

Some of the event’s success can be allocated to the mockumentary-series which the Met committee directed, shot and posted on their Instagram profile in the weeks leading up to the event. Herridge mentioned that its purpose was to get everyone that wanted to be there: there and to make all those attending “get keen”. 

The beloved Simonsberg Met was much needed proof that 2023 can be the first year post-lockdown in which Maties will have the familiar maties student experience once again. This is reflected in the pride students like Janco Fourie, a first-year Bcom (Acturial Science) student, felt when participating in the oldest student organised event on campus.

 “It’s a good test (and example) for other residences to get their big events back as well. Hopefully this event sets up the rest to also get going again.” says Mat Fortein, Simonsberg’s head mentor. 

FULL HOUSE: The 60th Simonsberg Met brought in people from all across campus. Photo: Anakin Curtis

Students powered through 42 km/hour winds and R180 ticket prices to see the magic of a restriction free Met. 

“It’s the second event the university has had with alcohol involved after lockdown (regulations), with Vensters 2023 being the first, so I think it has been very successful.” says Angus Herridge, a Met committee member and co-organiser. 

This sentiment was shared by both the jockeys and the attendees who were eager to bet the proverbial house on their favourite horse to win it all. 

CAN’T BE TAMED: Seniors from the Tropic Thunder section at Simonsberg looking on as the first year’s prance amongst the crowd. Photo: Anakin Curtis.

“Met is such a blast (and) the whole build up to it is amazing.” said Albert Deiderick’s, a first year Bsc(Applied Mathematics) student.

 Competitors were corralled into the paddock behind the track lined with hay bales. The anticipation was palpable as each horse was made to do an individual lap in front of the Simonsberg alumni as well as the jockey’s potential crushes in the crowd. This did not faze Diedericks as he held “The brotherhood in Simonsberg is so good. The people around you hype you up and support you, you can really feel the warmth.” 

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