Can these singers deliver on live shows?

Tuesday October 3 2017

Uganda’s Sheebah and up-and-coming artiste

Uganda’s Sheebah and up-and-coming artiste Chozen Blood perform at the Runtown Experience. PHOTO | ANDREW KAZIBWE | NATION 

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The Runtown Experience is another concert that left many people questioning the quality of music performances and event organisation.

Despite the success of the concert held last Saturday in terms of attendance, show goers were left disatisfied by the semi-live and playback performances as well as hitches in the organisation. It was headlined by Nigerian star Runtown and Uganda’s Sheebah Karungi.

The show which took place at the Amahoro National Stadium was the talk of the town, thanks to intense advertising.

However on the day of the concert, things did not work out as planned as first the show started late. Some blamed the late start to the FERWAFA Super Cup football match between arch rivals APR and Rayon Sports Football Clubs which was taking place in Rubavu district, in the Western Province.

It was not until 9:30pm, that the first artistes took to the stage. Several upcoming artistes entertained the crowd in between DJ sessions. Next on stage was Charly and Nina came, who had been advertised as the first acts to perform.

Organisers had promised an exceptional show with captivating performances. Charly and Nina only performed three songs, semi-live.

Bruce Melodie, the 2017 Coke Studio Africa’s Rwandan representative, was next on stage. He set himself apart by performing all his four songs live. He got loud applauses as the crowd sung and danced to his music.

Uganda’s Sheebah Karungi was next, dressed in a daring costume. The Wadawa singer and her queen dancers performed seductive dance moves that pleased many.

She performed songs like Nkwatako, Ice Cream and others semi live, but it was her dance moves that left a lasting impression.

Sheebah invited Chozen Blood, an upcoming artiste from Uganda, to perform Wadawa the remix collaboration.

After Sheebah, Runtown stepped onto the stage accompanied by a band and performed semi-live for one hour. The artiste, real name Douglas Jack Agu, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer.

The Mad Over You singer performed most of his songs and then challenged some of his female fans to dance to the song Bend Down Pause. The lucky winner got $1,000 from the singer.

The stage was raised to give the audience a good view but sound glitches spoilt the show.

“In terms of the number of people who showed up, it was a successful event,” said Collin Mugabo, an administrator from I Factory Africa.

Established in 2013, I Factory Africa has been behind the Abryans Fashion Awards, an annual Ugandan event. It has also hosted a concert by Nigerian star Banky Wellington.

They entered the Rwandan market this year with the Runtown Experience as their first event.

A no show

On the organisational aspect, some of the artistes, who had been advertised to perform did not show up, such as Ugandan singer Allan Tonix.

Rwandan group Active also showed up at the event’s venue, but did not sing due to a misunderstanding they had with the event organisers.

The group has since threatened to take the organisers to court for not honouring the contract. They said they were not paid because they didn’t perform yet the organisers are responsible for the mishap.

“The organisers needed to plan better, by availing ample time for musicians to perform. It was embarrassing not having advertised musicians performing,” said MC Tino, a popular radio host and artiste.

Several DJs including DJ Manuard and DJ Toxxyk of Dream Team DJcrew, also cancelled their planned appearance and took to social media to criticise the organisers.

But Mr Mugabo dismissed the claims by the DJs.

“They don’t need to act in such an unprofessional manner, making all sorts of unfounded allegations,” he said.

However, Mr Mugabo agrees that there were a few glitches, but said that since it was their first event, they will improve. He added that lack of time also led to some artistes not being able to perform.

“We apologize to Active and their management because they weren’t able to perform due to lack of time,” said Mr Mugabo, adding that they will be compensated.