It’s a done deal. The organisers of the Sunbird Sand Music Festival yesterday finally let the cat out of the bag announcing that Jamaican renowned dancehall musician Busy Signal, real name Glendale Goshia Gordon, will headline this year’s festival to be held at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima from October 30 to November 1.
The festival recently announced that they were courting the Jamaican musician but yesterday Sand Music Director Lucius Banda also known as Soldier in the music circles confirmed during a press conference held at Sunbird Mount Soche that Busy Signal is coming.
With Malawians frustrated with organisers in the country for lying when it comes to bringing international acts, Soldier said Malawians should not doubt them as they have finalised the deal.
“I know Malawians have been disappointed for a long time and this is why we have come out now to announce that he is the headliner because we are almost done with the contract. We have made all the necessary arrangements,” said Soldier whilst showing journalists a contract.
He, however, could not be drawn to say how much they have paid the Jamaican artist famed for the hit ‘Reggae Music Again,’ but was quick to say that it was expensive to bring international acts.
“This is why we always call upon the corporate world to help us out. This is a festival for Malawians and we have seen a lot of companies benefiting from this festival and so we appeal to them to come and support us. Some of the companies have assured us they will be part of the festival. We are thankful to Malawian Airlines which is flying in Busy Signal and other artists and then we have our main partners Sunbird Tourism Limited,” said Lucius.
Female singer Wendy Harawa, who is part of the Sunbird Sand Music Festival organising team is said to have met the Jamaican musician in Uganda and that she is the one who signed the agreement.
The organisers have also said that Busy Signal is coming with a 12-member band and that he will perform live with a minimum performance of two hours.
He also said that they have invested millions to hold the festival which was born out of frustration.
The first outing for the festival was at Zitherepano in Mangochi after Lucius and Black Missionaries pulled out of the Lake of Stars Festival after being dissatisfied with the money they were offered.
The festival however, has failed to remain stable when it comes to dates and last year the festival was held in August.
“Last year we had problems with the weather and again the past years we have been clashing with other festivals so we are still working out things as regards the dates but as for the venue it will now remain Salima,” said Lucius.
He also boosted that they are one of the best when it comes to paying artists adding that they hire them using their charge fees before negotiating.
Sunbird Tourism Limited Group Sales Manager Titania Katenga Kaunda said they are ready and are happy to be part of the festival which is for Malawians and that they will provide the best.
“We are a home of hospitality and people will have a memorable experience. This is a festival for Malawians and we are happy as Sunbird to be associated with this festival and this year its going to be great with Busy Signal as the headliner,” said Katenga Kaunda.
The organisers also revealed that before the festival, they will also have a warm up show at Wakawaka in Lilongwe which will bring on board another artist Roberto of the ‘Amarula,’ fame. They will also have a Clean –up campaign at Senga Bay just as they did last year as part of reaching out to the community.
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