It is now official. One of Jamaica’s most revered reggae musicians, Sizzla Kalonji, is the headliner for the 2016 Sand Music Festival.
The artist—popular for the track Thank You Mama in the One To One Riddim—will be joined from the island nation by the trio of Turbulence, Etana and Bushman, according to the festival founder and organiser, Lucius Banda.
He said: “Sizzla is the main artist for us this year as we focus much on reggae music. That is why he will come with three other artists [Turbulence, Etana and Bushman].
“We are [also] in negotiation with the band that used to play with Lucky Dube to have them as well. The idea is also to celebrate the legacy that the African reggae star left. As such, on Saturday, the Sand Music Festival backdrop will have Lucky’s face.”
Banda said the organisers are also negotiating with a number of other international artists, including those from Zambia and Zimbabwe, and that an announcement on their availability should be made together with confirmation of the event’s venue.
“We are still negotiating with [Sunbird] Nkopola Lodge, but the dates remain October 28 to 30,” he said.
“Tickets to the gigs will be purchased electronically. The deal with National Bank of Malawi for customers to buy tickets using the Mo626 platform is just the beginning of our long-term plan having noted that no matter how sophisticated we are in terms of security features on our tickets, fraudsters still duplicate them and make easy cash.”
Meanwhile, Banda said the main headline for the build-up event—Busy Signal—is scheduled to arrive in the country around noon on Friday ahead of the show slated for Civo Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday.
“He is coming with a 10-member crew plus a surprise artist just like he did at Sand Music Festival [at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach last year]. Our plan is to have the stage set by Friday evening and start as early as 10am on Saturday,” he said.