They say Christmas comes, but once in a year, and not even the recently effected Covid-19 measures will deter the announced and planned gigs over the festive season, event planners have said.
Last week, government through the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 announced fresh measures following a rising trend in the number cases in the presence of the new Omicron variant.
The new measures include limiting public gatherings to 100 people for indoor events, 250 people for outdoor events and a curfew which will see bars and entertainment joints closing at 10pm.
The announcement cast doubt on how a number of events which had been announced prior to the MoH guidelines would proceed. But random interviews conducted by The Nation have shown that almost all events will proceed as advertised.
Among the gigs proceeding is one on the eve of Christmas, dubbed ‘Mash-up Night’ to take place at the up-town entertainment joint Dominics in Nyambadwe, Blantyre, featuring Lucius Banda, Patience Namadingo and Zembani Band.
Banda said having considered the set-up of the place and enforced Covid-19 adherence measures, they have decided to proceed with the event.
“The Dominics is an outdoor space and given our pricing and the audience that we are targeting, we are sure we will stay within the 250 permissible number in our audience. Besides that, we will make sure that we are strict on the entry points to allow entry to only those wearing masks,” he said.
Another event which was under threat is jazz artist Lawi’s anticipated homecoming concert at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, also scheduled for December 24. Organisers of the show, Nthanda Artworks, have had to settle for an outside arena within the hotel after owners of the venue indicated they wanted to postpone all events booked there.
In an interview, lead coordinator Evance Chibade, said though they have faced little hiccups in light of the Covid-19 situation, the concert will still go ahead.
“For our show, we are targeting 150 people and being an outdoor event, we are good. We will also emphasise on wearing of masks, social distancing and sanitising of the hands. We will also share a video in which Lawi will be sensitising on the dangers of the disease,” he said.
Against all odds, gospel musician Clara Ngulube will also hold her double album launch at Robin’s Park in Blantyre on Christmas Day. She is expected to unveil her two albums Ndikonda Mulungu and Pakhale Kusiyana.
Supporting her will be artists such as Ndirande Anglican Voices, Ethel Kamwendo-Banda and Allan Chirwa among others.
And the artist said everything is set for the event and they have been rehearsing since last month. Ngulube said: “We have gone very far with our preparations already and the show is definitely on. We will make the necessary adjustments in line with the Covid-19 situation. The only drawback is that people bought the tickets in advance, but we will see what to do.”