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More festivals clash

FLASHBACK —People sampling items on sale during Baf which is held early October

More festivals are expected to clash next month, apart from Tumaini and Sand Music festivals in November.

The free-of-charge Tumaini Festival has always maintained its date of early November and will be held from November 1 to 2 at Dzaleka Refugee Camp with Sand Music Festival, which used to be held the last weekend of October, taking place from November 1 to 3 at Kabumba Hotel in Salima.

The government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture as well as tourism has listed some of the main festivals on its calendar of events as a way of bringing sanity.

However, despite the calendar of events, some festivals continue to clash.

Tumaini and Sand Music festivals were listed among the top five festivals in the country by National Geographic.

Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf) and Mzuzu Fashion Week have always maintained dates of holding their events early October.

Baf, which was also listed among the top five festivals, will be held from October 4 to 6 AT Blantyre Cultural Centre whereas Mzuzu Fashion Week takes place in Mzuzu from October 3 to 6.

But other festivals and events have come out on the same weekend and include Hangout Music Festival.

The Hangout Festival, whose posters have started flying, is a brainchild of GWL Promotions and will be held at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima.

The festival has a line-up of artists such as Black Missionaries which is also expected to perform at Baf, Lulu and Mathumela, Symon and Kendall, Wikise, Atoht Manje, Billy Kaunda and Sir Patricks, among others. The festival is also expected to feature aerobics.

One of the members of GWL Promotions, Levison Msakambewa, admitted yesterday that the clash of events was not healthy.

“We did not do this deliberately but rather we were looking at proper dates and only found this space. Our target is basically Lilongwe and Salima and we are not necessarily looking at the numbers. At first, we earmarked another date but we were unsuccessful,” Msakambewa said.

He said they could not move it to the other months because this is an outdoor event.

Baf Executive Director, Thom Chibambo, said this was not healthy for the country despite that the festivals were being held in distant places.

“Festival calendars implemented by the government were supposed to be followed. As for Baf, we have maintained our dates. We are disappointed that such things continue to happen especially for key festivals which people would want to embrace,” Chibambo said.

Mzuzu Fashion Week co-founder, Wezi Mzumara, also said there was need for creative players to work together and do consultations to avoid clash of events but also maintain sanity in the industry.

Director of Arts (Department of Arts), Humphrey Mpondaminga, Tuesday said new entrants are supposed to consult.

“We have festivals that are recognised and are on the calendar and this was done to avoid the issue of clashes. Some of the festivals are not recognised and those who hold them just come out without proper consultations,” Mpondaminga said.

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