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Lake of Stars Festival draws mixed reactions

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The long-awaited Lake of Stars Festival started on Friday and ended on Sunday at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi attracting mixed views from people.

Initially, the festival started with a community concert on Thursday which attracted an impressive audience before getting down to business on Friday.

Some people did not hide their disappointment with the festival, saying it lacked the much-needed pomp compared to the previous events while others felt the festival was growing every year.

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“To me I feel the organisers need to go back to the drawing board and repackage the festival. Last year after a two-year break, they came out well but this year I expected more but there were several gaps so I am not impressed,” said Rachel Kadango.

She said some performances were not up to scratch and that the main stage let down artists’ performances as there were too many loose connections hampering the sound.

Another fan, Kondwani Phiri, said he expected more pomp with the festival starting on Friday but things got into gear way late. He pointed out that during the past years, people had no problems during entry but there were too many hassles this year.

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“To me they relaxed this year, this festival needs to grow every year but there are some mistakes which continue to happen which is not on. Again I still feel the entry fee is on the higher side which restricts locals and sees foreigners dominating as was the case this year,” said Phiri.

But others said the organisers have continued to maintain their standards making the festival great.

“To me I have enjoyed every moment of this festival. The performances have been good and I am not disappointed at all,” said Jeremy Gibson from England.

Gilbert Tembo, who travelled all the way from Mzuzu, said it was his first time to experience the Lake of Stars and he enjoyed it to the maximum.

“I am satisfied, the festival is worth the money and I have seen great acts. The only problem I had is that with three stages it was too much for some of us and we ended up missing some of the acts,” he said.

Unlike in the past years when the first day has been way up with electric acts, it was different this time around with the event starting on a low note.

There were three stages namely Malawian Airlines getting the name from the sponsors Malawian Airlines, who helped in flying in international acts, including South Africa’s Uhuru, Airtel Beach Stage which got the name from one of the main sponsors Airtel Malawi, who pumped in K11 million for the event and then the main stage.

The Airtel Beach Stage, however, proved the best when it came to the best sound compared to the main stage which had too many loose connections which ended up affecting the sound.

South Africa’s Uhuru were the main focus of attention on Friday performing late on and they showed energy attracting cheers from the audience.

There were also acts from South Africa’s Toya Delazy, locals Gwamba, Lawi and the Mango, Agorosso, Konkalazi, Body, Mind and Soul, Donnex Muva, Dan Lu and George Kalukusha among others on Friday.

However, while some acts were good on Friday, Saturday’s acts were simply the best that impressed the thousands of people who patronised the event with Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba, a band featuring only six members offering probably the best set of the festival.

They kept the audience on their toes from the word go and they left the stage when people were still longing for more. To be precise, their act was faultless.

Talented Lulu was also among the best on the night likewise Lucius Banda and his Zembani Band but some acts left a lot to be desired, for instance, Nigeria’s Ric Hassani, who was nowhere near the best among international acts.

On Saturday people at the festival also had time to sample a vagina monologues production which was created by Eve Ensler but then Blackmore Creatives led by Zilanie Nyundo adapted.

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