For event managers, 2017 was vibrant for the arts and culture scene because of the many events that were hosted in Rwanda. However, the year also offered several lessons as some events faced hurdles, which saw them flop.
The failure of these events is attributed to poor organisation, strict national laws, limited publicity and funding shortfalls. However, these challenges are common for most events held in the country.
Events that struggled
ROC NYE Party: It took place from December 31, 2016 to January 1, 2017 and didn’t attract the number of people that had been targeted. The event, which took place at CHIC building in Kigali, encountered delays that see the event kick off almost at midnight.
Jameson Connects Rwanda Concert: The event marked the launch of Jameson Whiskey Rapper in Kigali. The main performer was Ugandan rapper Daniel Kigozi alias Navio. The event was organised by Rock Events, on March 31.
However, it did not attract many people and there were no artistes to perform before the Njogeraza hit-maker Navio took to the stage at midnight.
Darassa Concert: This event dubbed “Pressing Forward” took place on August 11, at the Kigali Convention and Exhibition Village. Despite a low turn-up of people, Tanzanian hip hop star Shariff Thabeet popularly known as Darassa gave a good performance.
Kigali Up Music Festival: It did not live up to the expectations of its long-time fans. The two-day event kicked off on August 19 to the August 20, at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre grounds in Kicukiro, Kigali.
Day one had performances from Makanyaga and Irangira band, Israel Mbonyi, King James, America’s Soleil Laurent and Quantum Split, legendary Senegalese musician Ismaël Lô and Nigeria’s Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, better known as Patoranking.
One of the disappointments was Patoranking not performing live as is custom of artistes who feature at the event.
The festival’s final day, which was supposed to feature Ivorian musician Alpha Blondy as the lead act, turned out to be a disappointment as the legendary artiste did not show up.
However, there were performances by local musicians Phionah Mbabazi, Gabi Kamanzi, the Urukerereza troupe and Mani Martin, International artists like Coted’Ivoire’s Manou Gallo, King Holiday and DR Congo’s Nketo Bakaji.
The event was also hampered by rain.
Lucky Dube’s Tribute Concert: Kigali Root House had geared up to celebrate the life and work of Reggae star Lucky Dube. The event took place on October 21 and also featured reggae artistes like Burundi’s Adjobalove, Natty Dread, 2T, Nkombozi and Vero Cand.
However, the event was ordered shut by the police on claims of noise pollution.
Young Grace’s album launch concert: The event took place on December 2, at Rubavu district, the home-town of Marie Grace Abayizera popularly known as Young Grace.
Dubbed “20-22 ans,” which is the titled of her latest album, the female rapper entertained the few people who turned up for the concert.
The concert also featured the rapper’s fellow musicians like Ama G The Black, Aime Bluestone and Marina. The same event was also interrupted by rain and it was over by 9pm.
The Silent Disco Kigali: The event took place on December 8, at Kigali City Tower Food Court. The pop-up event was announced two days before it took place. It was organised by Lian Events, and featured six DJs. There were delays from the start, while it only attracted a few people.