Fun-seekers have been hit with another blow by the announcement that the Lake of Stars International Music Festival will not be staged this year due to lack of funding.
“Since our 2011 festival, which was our best yet, we have been looking to put together a sustainable funding plan for the festival. We have tried a wide array of avenues and continue to engage with potential partners.
“Unfortunately, we have not yet secured the funding needed to take the event forward this year, so, currently, we are not planning a Lake of Stars Festival for 2013,” said founder and director of Lake of Stars, Will Jameson, in a statement.
In an interview from London, Jameson said sponsors across the globe are facing difficult financial times; as such, it was impossible to win their help.
Meanwhile, Balaka-based musician Soldier Lucius Banda, who has been performing at the Lake of Stars frequently, described the development as very sad.
“When it failed for the first time last year, I was equally sad and, hence coming up with Sand Festival, an initiative quite similar to LOS. Artists in Malawi are happy with LOS and it has since become part of us but it is sad to see it fail for the second time,” said Banda.
He had no kind words for the corporate world, saying it is fond of “using artists without helping them”.
The Lake of Stars International Music Festival was launched in 2004 at Chintheche Inn in Nkhata Bay before moving to Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima in 2008 and then Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi in 2009, where it has been held till the last concert in 2011.
The festival is hailed for bringing in the country several tourists, thus helping boost the country’s tourism sector. Jameson hatched the idea of this annual event when he first visited Malawi in 1998 while working at Dwangwa as a volunteer with the Wildlife Society of Malawi.