Three major music festivals, namely Hangout, Lilongwe Music and Arts Festival (Lifest) and Sound and Light have clashed after organisers fixed them on the same day, October 30.
The organisers confirmed the development in separate interviews, but gave varying reasonsn for the situation.
Tonderai Banda of Sound and Light festival said he has invested a lot in his event that it will be hard to change the date.
He said: “I started advertising for this show months ago. I was shocked, therefore, to hear that Lifest will be happening on the same day.”
Banda said he was initially not worried about sharing the date with Hangout Festival which will take place in Salima, but he is now concerned with the new festival.
“I don’t know how long they have been around, but this is not on. For me to change my dates is not easy as there are contracts with performing artists involved, especially the international ones who may have other commitments after October 30. So, I will not change the date for Sound and Light Festival,” he said.
In a separate interview, one of the organisers for Hangout, Levi Msakambewa, said they are also disappointed with the turn of events.
“We have been around since 2019 and we have been consistent. We made our announcements long time ago and every other event organiser knew about our dates. What is happening is a clear sign of looking down upon each other. The music market is very small for this,” he said.
Msakambewa said they are considering changing the date for their event, but said that will depend on several factors.
“We may have no choice but to change our dates. Honestly speaking this is not good for the industry,” he said.
Msakambewa further indicated that they had in the past engaged Banda on the clash of dates,but the two sides failed to reach a compromise.
Lifest organisers, on the other hand, avoided addressing the topic when The Nation sent a questionnaire.
However, its project coordinator Maya Kalumo said the event is a fundraiser for a mental counselling centre to be built in Lilongwe.
Commenting on the development, arts commentator Wonderful Mkhutche said the competition signals growth.
“This will force organisers to be on top of their game. In the process, this will push our industry forward,” he said.
Mkhutche, however, said the clash of dates will mean survival of the one who makes the most out of the small market.
“Some may make losses and that will be part of the lessons for the future. So, we need these challenges and competition to inform the way forward for the industry,” he said.
Hangout Festival will take place at Kabumba Hotel in Salima from October 29 to 30 with South Africa’s Makhadzi as its headliner while Sound and Light Festival will happen on October 30 at a venue yet to be announced and has Fireboy DML as its main act. On the other hand, Lifest will run from October 29 to 30 at the Lilongwe Golf Club and its headliners are Jamaica’s Chris Martin and Nigerian Joe Boy.