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Lake of Stars Festival partners Root to Fruit

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Lake of Stars Malawi Arts Festival has partnered Root to Fruit, a tree planting enterprise located at Chintheche in Nkhata Bay with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint of the festival.

The festival’s founder Will Jameson said the partnership was part of the Lake of Stars’ tradition of engaging with the community within which it operates.

The festival this year returns to where it started in 2004 and will be held at Chintheche Inn in Nkhata Bay from September 30 to October 2, 2016.

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Lake of Stars Malawi Arts Festival started at Chintheche Inn in Nkhata Bay before moving to Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima and then Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi where it run for more than five years.

Jameson said with global temperatures rising, Root to Fruit offers an easy and effective way to care for the climate and Malawian communities.

“One tree planted with Root to Fruit will cost just K1,500 and will not only offset pollution from the average festival-goer’s travel within Malawi, but will also provide local communities with food, medicine and building materials,” he said.

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Jameson said since the festival started they have always worked with the community and that this was part of empowering them.

Apart from donating different items and embarking in different projects which saw them donating desks last year, Jameson said they also use people in the community during the festival.

The early bird tickets for the festival have since started selling in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay at K24,000 for the three days and runs until the end of this month.

The organisers have also called for applications for vendors and those interested in performing or volunteering at this year’s festival.

“Commercial vendors, social enterprises, and NGOs are also welcome to apply for a chance to engage with the festival’s onsite community. With thousands of people gathered on the beach for three days, business owners will have the opportunity to reach new customers, promote their brand, and make some fantastic sales,” said Jameson.

Some quarters have however, quer ied the organisers for losing track by taking the festival back to its original home with others saying there is not enough accommodation among others.

But Jameson said there was enough accommodation for people and that they have prepared everything for people to enjoy the festival.

Meanwhile Lake of Stars has been named among Time Out London’s 50 Best Festivals in the World, and the best festival in Africa.

Recently the organisers announced South Africa’s group Freshlyground as the first international headliners.

The news has excited some people while others feel the organisers could have moved to other countries and bring new artists.

Freshlyground will be performing at the festival for the second time having entertained people during the fest in 2011.

“Each year we receive requests to bring previous performers back to the festival, as people have enjoyed seeing them perform so much.

The most frequent request over the past five years has been Freshlyground and we are delighted to be bringing this world-class act back to Malawi for more of their exciting music,” said Jameson.

Other artists already billed to perform at this year’s festival are Faith Mussa, MC Flo Dee, Bucci, Patience Namadingo, Piksy, and Lusubilo Band.

Jameson said in addition to the musical programme, festival-goers will this year enjoy a host of other entertainment from across the arts including poetry, theatre, fashion, and dance.

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