Malawi’s premier arts festival, Lake of Stars (LoS), has for the first time involved its fans in choosing local artists to perform at this year’s event.
The festival brings together both local and international talent on the beautiful beaches of Lake Malawi for three days of fun.
In an effort to bring the festival closer to people, Malawians are this year being involved in the selection process of artists they would love to see perform at the event.
“Across 11 festivals, Lake of Stars has presented hundreds of different artists: musicians, poets, acrobats, writers, comedians, filmmakers, dancers, and more. For three days on the shores of Lake Malawi, from September 30 to October 2 2016, we will be bringing you more of the greatest talent Malawi has to offer.
“Now we’re asking you: who should be there? Share your wishes in the comments below! Just Malawian talent for now—we will ask you about your favourite international acts in a separate post,” the festival organisers wrote on their Facebook page.
According to one of the festival organisers, Patrick Garety, the idea is to allow Malawians take some control in terms of what they want.
“We love to see people getting behind the Malawian artists they love the most. The festival exists both for artists and for fans, so their input and passion is what drives us. The selection process is a long and difficult one, but it’s essential that we consult as widely as possible,” he said.
However, Garety said not all suggestions will be taken in board.
“Everyone’s opinion matters to us. Obviously, we can’t book every Malawian artist each year—we’d love to, but even with multiple stages over three days there’s a limit.
“Last year we had over 80 acts performing. We aim to provide a fresh, diverse lineup that showcases the best of Malawi’s talent, both well-established and completely new.
“Artists need to be exciting, passionate and play great music. We consider not just the quality of their studio work, but how exciting their live sets are.
“This allows us to help artists make the most of the exposure Lake of Stars can bring. And it’s not just musicians: across 11 festivals, Lake of Stars has presented hundreds of different artists—poets, acrobats, writers, painters, comedians, filmmakers, dancers, and more,” he explained.
So far, based on the comments on the post, some of the artists that have garnered sizeable votes include Black Missionaries, Lucius Banda, Gwamba and Dare Devils.