In my last week’s entry I poured out my thoughts and people’s reactions on this year’s Sand Music Festival. Here is a continuation on the same.
No wonder there has been much talk about shifting the dates. Many are of the view that it is time that organisers gave in to nature. The problems that the festival has faced with the rains are not new. And sadly, this episode may not be the last.
Maybe it is indeed time that dates of the festival were shifted backwards. The cost that has fallen on Impakt Events team due to the rains this year is so huge. It would not be a bad idea to be weather-wise and be cautious from now on.
On the damage to the equipment on the first day, I think this happened due to power mismanagement. My suspicion is that there was an amateurish element in the manner in which the whole operation was handled. I am not an expert in the area but from what I witnessed and heard, I can deduce some serious laxity in the approach.
From where I was standing when the gen-set was being switched on, for a moment it all appeared as a trial and error phase as no one appeared to have a firm idea on what may be the outcome.
Nobody had an idea of the magnitude of the damage on the equipment that could result from any slight miscalculation in the connections. The sparks were clear on the stage the moment it was switched on. But, sadly it seems there was nobody monitoring the instant outcome.
It was only after a few minutes when sound engineer Vita Chirwa sensed danger from the sound control centre when he dashed out screaming and urging his colleagues to switch off the gen-set. But it was too little too late. The damage had already spilled over to the sound control centre.
This was really a disheartening moment and coming on the very first day and a few hours after Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Michael Usi had declared the event officially open. Nobody would have expected such a start to a highly anticipated event.
It is unfortunate that for all the sacrifices and good efforts that the organisers invested in organising this year’s event, the festival will only be remembered for the hiccups that it faced. It was the best patronised event in the history of the festival and they certainly deserved better.
We hope that this edition has provided them with plenty of lessons and that they will come back bigger and better next year. Otherwise the 10th anniversary edition came at a huge cost.
Though it has not been formally written anywhere, but it appears art players are now off their blocks when it comes to holding of live events in the country.
Having being held at bay for a good part of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the art industry is out to make up for the lost time and revenue. At least every weekend you are assured of an event or two in the country’s four cities.
It had been a tough period. The tales from the artist were mostly laden with grief. They could hardly survive. Their source of income had been severed and the pandemic was biting hard and deep on the sector players.
As the Covid-19 slows down, we pray they won’t be any reverse in such fortunes. We have already lost so much to the year 2020 and we can hardly afford to lose anymore. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the status quo only gets better.