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ONE AFRICA FEST - The Best or a Mess?

May 15, 2017 solidvybz 1 Comments Category :

Saturday 13th May 2017 saw the explosion of African music and its finest acts on London's prestigious SSE Arena. The line up was filled with the greats in Afrobeats such as Sarkodie, P Square, Awilo, Tiwa Savage and many more. There were over 15 acts on the bill hailing from Kenya, Congo, Nigeria, Ghana and beyond. It was a great show. Bright lights, over 7000 excited fans and a fantastic sound system all led to an explosive and electric atmosphere.

However there were some setbacks. The most important and impacting being timekeeping. The show was advertised to start at 7pm. However at 6.30pm when I entered the venue it was visibly clear that the set up was still ongoing. Several staff members hustling and bustling around trying to get things ready. There were very few attendees in the venue at that time. The show didn't start till 8.30pm or there about. A good hour and half after the advertised time. This impacted the whole show in that some acts had to be rushed off the stage as time was closing in on the organisers who were under pressure from the venue officials who understandably wanted the show to end at a particular time.  This therefore meant that the big acts like P Square and Davido who had been used to sell the show only had 5 to 10 minutes performance time. I would advise that if they have 3 big headline acts for example, it shouldn't be the case that they are all kept till last. It would be better to have one perform at the start another in the middle and the best saved for last. On leaving the venue at the end of the show I heard complaints from attendees that they had been short changed and didn't feel fulfilled by the short performances of their favourite acts. 

The time situation was made worse by the host/MC who spent too much time talking while introducing acts. Given the situation that time was not in great supply the MC could have economised on the introductory accolades. 

6 years ago when I last attended an African concert there were timing issues. I expected for this to have improved 6 years on. We can do better. 

Overall the show was good but could have been better had the logistics been more sound. 

Long live Afrobeats. Long live Africa.
Article by; Dahlia Johnson