Bigger, better festival

Saturday August 25 2018

People dancing at a past Nyege Nyege festival.

People dancing at a past Nyege Nyege festival. The 2018 edition will feature more musicians. FILE PHOTO 

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The 2018 edition of the Nyege Nyege Music Festival promises more variety of fun, music and art on bigger grounds for the four-day music and arts extravaganza.

This year's event, to be held on September 6-9, has attracted over 300 artists from over 30 countries who will perform on four stages, including two new stages. The venue is set on a luscious six-acre forest on the banks of the River Nile, a kilometre away from the source of the river and Jinja town.

“This is the year when we grow from being a rave to becoming a real festival. We are tripling the size of the venue, with an entire area dedicated to campers. We also have a new stage called the ‘Dark Star,’ which will focus on electronic music by world class DJs so the eternal disco stage will be more about grooves and vibes...,” festival co-director, Derek Debru told The EastAfrican.

The other addition is the ‘Spirit of Uganda’ stage that will feature the best of traditional troupes.

“We’ll also have a boiler room take over, the first festival boiler room take over in Africa. We’re really proud of that, and it shows the platform and the music are being taken seriously,” Debru added.

The Nyege Nyege festival is organised and curated by the Boutiq Foundation, a community based organisation in Kampala, to develop the local arts and culture industry by creating conducive platforms and opportunities for upcoming talented artists.

The festival aims to connect underground musicians and producers from around the continent with those working with African music outside the continent.

Headling the festival among others will be Orchestre Les Mangelepa (Kenya), JLIN (US), Sho Madjozi (South Africa), Etran de l’Air (Niger), Stella Chiweshe (Zimbabwe), Errorsmith (Germany), Otim Alpha and Leo Palayeng (Uganda).

Others are Dominowe (South Africa), Juliana Huxtable (USA), Rian Treanor (UK), Giant Swan (UK), Rude Boyz (South Africa), Nihiloxica (Uganda), Phatstoki(South Africa), Modern Institute (UK), Rehema Tahiri (Tanzania), Makavelli and Bamba Pana (Tanzania), Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe (Uganda), Sleeping Buddah (South Africa), Bonaventure (DR Congo), Slikback (Kenya), AD Family (Kenya), Don Zilla (Uganda), Kisiwani Band Vanga (Tanzania), Tomoko Sauvage (Japan), Mc Yallah (Kenya), and Mika Oki (France), among others.

The main stage performance will kick-off at 1pm every day and shut down at about 8am the following morning.

Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase at Ushs130, 000 ($34.5) online until August 26.

Tickets will be on sale at the door (subject to availability) for Ushs170, 000($45) for the full festival pass, as well as day tickets on Friday at Ushs70, 000($18.5), on Saturday at Ushs100, 000 ($26.5) and on Sunday at Ushs50, 000 ($13.2).

Nyege Nyege is Luganda for feeling a sudden uncontrollable urge to move, shake or dance. Just what the festival is about.