Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Salim Bagus, has called on festival organisers in the country to be innovative and avoid duplication of dates of such events. Bagus made the remarks on Saturday night when he edition of the Lake of Stars Festival, dubbed Lake of Stars Discovery, this year held at Kachere Kastle in Nkhata Bay.
He said the government, through the ministry responsible, for arts and culture in consultation with stakeholders produced a national calendar of cultural and artistic events in 2017. “Since that time, we have noted with gratitude the birth of new arts festivals. This is a positive development as it is testimony of the growing cultural industry in Malawi.
However, I would like to call on these new festival organisers to be innovative, avoid duplication of dates and be resilient in maintaining their new festivals,” Bagus said. He said music and arts festivals could only be easily promoted by his ministry in the country and internationally if the proper calendar of events was followed. “It also becomes easier for international tourists to plan to travel to Malawi for events, if the calendar is established and strictly followed,” the minister said.
Bagus said the Department of Arts and Crafts in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture was responsible for ensuring that standards and guidelines for the organisation of public entertainment events, including arts, were being followed. He said the government was grateful for the cooperation from Lake of Stars Festival organisers during the build-up to the event and ensuring that the standards He said as a way of supporting festivals, they have this year been collaborating with festival organisers in the production of documentaries which are meant to promote the festivals to local and foreign audiences.
Bagus’ remarks come in the awake of some festivals happening on the same dates which is set to divide the audience. For instance, two festivals which have been listed among Geographic—Tumaini and Sand Music—are taking place on the same weekend although at different venues. Sand Music, which has in the past years been held in October, will be held from November 1 to 3 at Kabumba Hotel in Salima.
The festival is expected to be headlined by among others, Jamaica’s King Sounds. The free-of-charge Tumaini Festival has always maintained its dates of early November and this year it will be held from November 1 to 2 at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa. Some of the acts on the line-up include Patience Namadingo and Princess Chitsulo. Another new festival Hangout is clashing with Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf) which has always maintained its dates of early October.
Baf is set to be headlined by giants Lucius Banda and Zembani Band and Black Missionaries at Blantyre Cultural Centre from October 4 to 6. This is the same weekend Hangout Music Festival, which is new will take place at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima. The festival is expected to feature acts such as Lulu and Black Missionaries.
Yolanda Ng’oma, Country Coordinator for Lake of Stars Festival, hailed people for patronising this year’s Lake of Stars Discovery. “Thank you for coming to the Lake of Stars Discovery. It is all about discovery, how many of you knew about Kachere Kastle?” asked Ng’oma. Most of the people indicated they did not know there was Kachere Kastle.