One of the country’s popular annual music events, Sand Music Festival(SandFest), is set to return on the beaches of Lake Malawi on October 31.
Organisers of SandFest, Impakt Events, have announced that the event will take place on October 30 to November 1 in Salima.
This comes against a background of strict measures put in place by government to combat Covid-19 which limits gatherings to less than 100 people. Effectively, musicians have not been holding live shows since April.
Impakt Events is owned by Lucius Banda who happens to be special adviser to the President on youth and arts.
Impakt Events operations director Johnny Zembani Banda, son to Lucius Banda, said the exact venue will be announced at a later stage.
“Our assumption is that by that time, Covid-19 guidelines will have been revised to allow bigger gatherings. We have that belief because there is an improvement generally on how the country is fairing on the pandemic,” he said.
He said that due to the suspense caused by Covid-19, they will not mention the names of artists set to perform at the festival saying they will be announced later, when the venue is announced.
“Our focus for now will be on those who can manage to come based on their country’s borders being open. Musicians are not busy worldwide. So, even at short notice of two weeks, we will be able to get some,” said Banda.
He added that if the situation on Covid-19 is not different then, they will still hold the smallest SandFest ever.
“This year is our 10th anniversary and we had big plans. We cannot afford to stay without the event. If the worse comes to the worst, we will end up with a few local artists,” he explained.
In May, a group of artists including Banda himself issued a statement asking government to allow musicians hold shows arguing that churches were carrying on with their weekly gatherings.
The announcement of the return of SandFest has however excited some fans.
Reacting to the festival’s flyer posted by Impakt Events on Facebook, fans expressed their excitement.
“We are all ready to follow all preventive measures for the Covid-19 pandemic. Sand Music Festival has to be back and happen for sure,” wrote Mols Janah.