A heavy downpour forced organisers to halt SandFest performances, ruining what was to be the highlight of this year’s festival on Saturday.
Headliners Diamond Platnumz and Master KG were billed to perform in the evening but the heavy rains, which not only soaked fun-seekers but also the equipment and stage, brought everything to a stand still.
SandFest founder Lucius Banda said upon advice from their technicians on site, they resolved to temporarily suspend the event to yesterday morning at 9am.
But by 12 noon, performances had not yet resumed as organisers were still putting together new equipment.
Addressing resentful patrons who were upset by the delays, Banda apologised and asked for understanding.
“We did everything that we could to salvage the situation. We ask for your understanding,” pleaded Banda, who eventually managed to calm down the patrons.
Earlier on Friday, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Usi hailed organisers for putting together the event which he said has the potential to boost tourism.
“It is encouraging to see that the organisers have done well. However, I think there’s need for involvement of government which we will look into afterwards,” he said.
Festival coordinator Priscilla Mhango said they were looking forward to a good 2020 edition of Sand Festival.
This year’s SandFest was special as the Salima event marked its 10th anniversary. It was founded by Banda and was first held in Mangochi at Zitherepano Club in 2010.
Some of the musicians that were on the lineup included Janta, Anthony Makondetsa, Ethel Kamwendo-Banda, Wendy Harawa and The Great Angels Choir among others.
According to ‘Soldier’ Lucius Banda the event was estimated to cost over K40 million.
Banda said this year the event was sponsored by various corporate institutions including Venom/Cool Drop, TNM, Nyasa, Sana, Lilongwe Dairy, Sunbird, Skyline and Mount Meru.
As of 3.15pm yesterday, performances had not yet resumed.