Sand Music Festival founder Lucius Banda has described this year’s event as the most challenging in the show’s decade of existence due to forces of nature.
However, he said despite some setbacks, it was the most supported event in the history of the festival.
In an exclusive interview yesterday, Banda said the rains, which affected the festival on Saturday, forced his team to extend the event by a day and in the long-run, losing millions of kwacha.
He said: “The private jet carrying Diamond Platnumz stayed for an extra day and Master KG and the team was delayed by a day and that meant changing their flight tickets.
“We had to accommodate and feed the musicians, support staff and security for an extra day which in the end cost us so much.”
Banda said if it was not for the rains, he could have said for the first time they had made profits.
The veteran musician, however, said the setback will not deter him and his team from organising another festival next year.
“We are yet to meet as a team to conduct a postmortem of the festival. We will have Sunbird, the organising team and other stakeholders to look at the whole situation,” he said.
Banda said though patrons were inconvenienced by spending extra hours in Salima due to the suspension of the event on Saturday, many appreciated the performance by headliners Master KG and Diamond Platnumz.
The musician said it is sad that some Malawians are focusing on problems when on stage musicians entertained and wowed audiences.
“Inviting both Master KG and Diamond Platnumz as well as other local artists is no mean achievement. That takes a lot of organisation,” said Banda.
He, however, did not comment on the challenges of music equipment which was replaced twice during the event.
Banda said all other challenges that occurred during the event will be looked into during a postmortem meeting set to take place soon.
“Of course, we have not yet requested the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture to give us a better time to host the festival. But bear in mind that in the 10 years we have hosted the event, rains interrupted the event three times.
“I guess this year we were simply unlucky but still we will ask if the ministry can move this event to September,” he said.
Speaking during the opening of the event last Friday, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Usi indicated government’s wish to be involved in the organising of the event since it has potential to boost the country’s tourism.
Some Malawians, especially social media users, blamed organisers of the event for being ill-prepared which resulted in technical glitches and disruptions due to rains.