There is no denying that being thrown in the spotlight as a host for a particular event brings with it a feeling of fulfilment and an aura of self-importance.
Even when you throw those small-time summer parties at home, the attention that is cast on you as a host, for a moment, makes you feel like the lives of so many people depend on you. If you haven’t done it, try it and you will believe me.
But wait a minute. That’s not all. Hosting of events requires one to have the extra factor to hold it all together. Even when you host a birthday party for five-year-olds, you get a full picture of the weight that descends on you.
Ladies and gentlemen, hosting of events is no child play regardless of the magnitude of that particular event. You are basically in a race to meet the expectations of so many people attending that event. Even the armchair observers who don’t even make themselves physically present during the event are on your case.
Due to varied interests, such individuals, though absent, do have a full grasp of every second happenings at the event through their proxies. The moment you goof, they pounce without blinking an eye.
So, it is always crucial for one to check their readiness and reflect on one’s capacity to host a worthwhile event and not create a scenefor oneself.
In Malawi, every summer the arts and creative sector is always replete with a catalogue of events. Some on a small-scale, others full brown festivals. Some are just for a day, or two while others go for three days.
It is almost fashionable to hear this and that particular person announcing their events. This year, the situation has not been different. Coupled with the inactivity that characterised the summer season last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At every turn or corner of the art pages and social spaces, one sees and reads about events that are coming in fast and thick. The burden has now fallen on the consumers as they have to hit a good balance on which event to attend or not depending on how much their pockets can support them.
Last weekend, with the Mother’s Day holiday, it was another opportune time for event organisers to schedule their events. And expectedly, events were laced all over the country throughout the long weekend.
Losers and winners came out from the weekend. But the biggest losers were the organisers of what was called the Mother’s Day Festival held at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima. What promised to be a memorable merry-making three-days turned to be another drab event.
The patrons got a raw deal just like many of the artists who were billed to perform at the event. A performers list which had a good number of acts, eventually featured less than half the number paraded on the promotional posters.
Most of the artists were told at the 11th hour not to come for the festival citing various reasons. This riled the artists and they didn’t hide their displeasure in the manner they were treated by organisers. The few who performed only got part of their agreed fees or nothing at all. Sad.
I don’t know how binding are the contracts that artists go into when agreeing to perform during such gigs, but in a normal set-up, these artists are entitled to claim damages for such kind of disturbances. If an artist is booked for a particular day and event, it means his business hours for that day are gone.
That particular artist can no longer sign up with anyone else. So, to have someone on reserve for a good two months and on top of that use your brand to market his event only to be let off at the 11th hour is a mockery of one’s integrity.
Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t have just to throw ourselves into event hosting just because the next person is doing it. Let us ask ourselves if we have the required capacity or not. We don’t have to take advantage of people. This art, means everything to most of these people.