For three days, the Kambiri Beach Resort in Salima was transformed into an artistic spectacle as it hosted the 13th edition of the annual Sand Music Festival.
Courtesy of the platform, some new names introduced themselves to the music world and for the first time, some regular acts were not on the list.
Since the festival was introduced 13 years ago, this year was the first time that reggae band Black Missionaries were not on the list of performers a development to the surprise of many.
Another surprise was the return of Blak Jak who was assigned as host on the second day of the festival. The artist-cum-media personality has been a fierce critic of the event over the years. But he confessed his delight for returning to the festival.
“You may be surprised that I am here, but it feels good to be here. It is like I never left,” he said.
The surprises were many. The biggest of them all was probably the performance of a Busy Signal mimic on Sunday morning. A man, whose identity could not be verified, gave patrons something unique to cheer at.
Shabbily dressed and almost looking like a lunatic, the man asked for a chance to be allowed for a moment on stage. After a period of perseverance, he got his chance and he used it perfectly.
The man amazed the patrons with his precision in matching the Jamaican both in voice and the song lines. His performance left the crowd excited as they chanted on while he played songs such as One More Night, Come Over and Dreams of Brighter Days, among others.
It was not surprising that the ecstatic patrons showered him with banknotes while he played. When the host told him to leave the stage, his call was met with disapproval from the audience, but he had to go.
But on the same platform, a moment was presented to some acts to announce their presence on the music arena. They included rising reggae artist Michael Mountain, the man from Nkhata Bay used the event to tell the world that he is here and here to stay.
Appearing on one of the prime sets on Saturday, the No Where To Go creator brought an artistic impression that left patrons out of their breath. He delivered his favoured reggae beat almost to perfection.
The event’s main headliner came from Jamaica in Busy Signal who was making his second appearance on the platform. If any one had doubts of what he had to offer, the artist provided a response with a passionate and energetic performance.
He admitted he felt home in Malawi and his connection with the fans was a marvel. His vocal ability was impeccable during the set which lasted almost two hours. He went on and on until he was begged to step off the stage. “I didn’t know there are other artists who are supposed to perform after me too. I need to go,” he said.