There were ugly scenes at Sand Music Festival in Salima District on Sunday as angry fans pelted empty bottles stage following delays in starting performances.
This followed a disruption of performances on the second day [Saturday] of the festival due to heavy rains that soaked the equipment.
Having endured another disappointment on the first day of the festival following speakers blowing off due to the effects of power from the generator which led to no show on the main stage, people were hoping for the best on the second day.
Things had started on a good note with performances from among others, Sangie, Janta, Tay Grin, Saint and Patience Namadingo, whose mash-up medley with Soldier Lucius sparked and then Germany artist Raphael Loopro also had his share before the downpour.
Banda, Impakt Events Director, had assured fans that following disruption of performances, they would start early of the third day (yesterday) with artists who failed to perform on Saturday including international headliners Tanzania’s Diamond and South Africa’s Master KG before moving on to gospel acts.
But with nothing happening in the morning, people got angry and that led to some pelting empty bottles on the stage.
The situation forced Banda to come and address the people, of which some were heard shouting on top of their voices complaining that they had spent a lot of money including entry ticket of K25,000 and transport.
“Sitiyimva ndipo uyankhule zomveka (we are not tolerating any lame excuses),” the angry fans said in unison.
“Firstly, I should apologise for the situation that has happened. Yesterday (Saturday), we had rains which soaked the equipment. We sat down to sort out that so that we should have the performances back today (Sunday),” he said.
As the musician was speaking, the audience started singing the national anthem.
Banda added that the other issue they were sorting out was the flight for Diamond, who was supposed to leave on Sunday.
“Let me assure you that the equipment is being sorted out and we will have the performances. Master KG and Diamond will perform and so, are the other artists such as Lulu and Black Missionaries,” he said.
It had to take some time for the audience to cool down before they requested Banda to perform acappella, one of his best songs titled ‘Nthawi’.
“I think the biggest problem here is communication. Lucius Banda and team have been keeping us like this without telling us what was happening and that is why we have all these issues. Communication is vital,” Richard Ponderani, a resident of Blantyre, said.
Earlier before Banda addressed the audience, musician Lulu, who was supposed to perform on the second day to warm up for Master KG, was chased from the stage.
“We started performing on the smaller stage just to have something for the people as we waited for performances on the main stage but people said I should go perform on the main stage,” Lulu said.