Organisers of the Likoma Festival have changed the dates of the event, which takes place at Likoma Island, from August to Easter holidays in April.
This was disclosed in an interview with the new festival organising chairperson, Thoko Kamangira, who also revealed that the carnival had changed its name from Likoma Summer Festival (li-SURF) to Likoma Festival (li-FEST).
The changes come after the inaugural two-day event was held from 30-31 August, 2014, under the name li-SURF. According to Kamangira, starting next year, the festival will be a three-four-day affair.
“There are several changes that have been instituted, from the dates, the name, organisation and the period,” he explained. “On organisation, it’s now better because we have a new committee that incorporated other people who’re not Likoma Islanders.”
He further said: “We have also started the preparations five months before to get everything in order. We had several setbacks during the inaugural festival because we did not have enough time to prepare and having started this early, we’re definitely going to have a well-organised and exciting event next year”.
Kamangira said some of the issues they were looking into were travel, accommodation and the number of artists to perform at the next festival.
He revealed that at least 15 artists, among them the pioneering performers namely Mlaka Maliro, Piksy, Diktator and Lucky Stars will make it on the listing.
The change of dates to April must be an exciting development to fun-seekers in the country as it comes in the wake of complaints on the clash of festivals on the same weekend and the summer period.
This year, there were three festivals on the same weekend as Likoma Island hosted li-SURF, Blantyre hosted the Mwezi Wawala Arts Festival while Salima district hosted the Sand Music Festival.
The Likoma Festival idea was hatched to promote tourism to Likoma Island while providing islanders with an opportunity to learn, earn and advance their lives as well as providing a continuous and better environment of fun to people from all over the world.
The debut festival attracted a mixture of fun-seekers, who were ferried on the legendary MV Ilala to add to the number of foreign tourists and Mozambicans who crossed the borders by water to attend the event.
Meanwhile, the forthcoming April 2015 Likoma Festival will be launched this weekend at Blue Elephant Club in Blantyre where Dan Lu and Piksy are billed to perform.