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Lake of Stars plans return

GONDWE— We found creative ways

Organisers of one of the top festivals in the country, Lake of Stars, have said they are planning a return as long as Covid-19 is defeated.

The festival, which has hosted several artists both local and international and has contributed immensely to the tourism sector in the country, did not take place last year.

The festival’s spokesperson and Head of Media Zilanie Gondwe said Wednesday, while the country and the world as a whole faces renewed outbreaks of the pandemic, Lake of Stars has been working with hope and positivity that this year will bring a new outlook to Malawi tourism, arts and culture and the festival sector.

“As it is, the country is in flux with new regulations to manage the health crisis. As such, Lake of Stars Festival, like other stakeholders, will abide by the laws and procedures as we work and plan towards our activities,” Gondwe said.

While some of the festivals such as Blantyre Arts and Tumaini failed to take place due to the pandemic last year, Lake of Stars announced it would be on break before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Having been held for the first time at Kabumba Hotel in Salima in 2018, the festival made another discovery by moving to Kachere Kastle in Nkhata Bay in 2019 before announcing its break last year.

Festival organisers have always announced their plans in the month of January.

Gondwe said this is a wholesale opportunity for the invigoration of youth-driven agenda development of the tourism and arts sector.

“These will need the invested financial and policy bound commitment of the government and private sector to take on bold new ideas and approaches to the growth of the industry and country as a whole,” she said.

The spokesperson said the sector last year suffered massively with the first wave of the pandemic.

“But, within it, found creative ways of continuing to produce creative products and reach audiences. These are ways towards a new norm,” Gondwe said.

The creative sector is at the moment waiting with hope that things will normalise soon as, as it now, events are a challenge following government’s new measures including a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.

Several players in the creative industry have called on the government to bail them out with packages that would sustain them in the absence of events.

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