Impakt Events Management founder and director ‘Soldier’ Lucius Banda has challenged local artists to take the presence of international artists at the Sand Music Festival as an inspiration to raise their game.
He said this on Thursday in view of the firm’s earlier announcement that from now on, the annual festival will be headlined by local artists, with international acts only coming in to support them.
But music lovers in the country had raised eyebrows on Wednesday when Impakt Events Management unveiled Nigerian Afro-pop singer Spyro as the third international act for the event, wondering if they are not contradicting their earlier position.
Vikitara Vikitara wrote: “Mukukakamiza zinthu [You are forcing matters]. We are ready to support a show featuring Malawians only without some of these artists.”
The unveiling of Spyro was followed by another announcement on Thursday that Jamaican Kenyatta Hill will also perform at the event. Now the number of international acts to grace the event has risen to four, including the Zambian trio Organised Family and South African amapiano duo Mumba Pitch.
But Banda said: “I think people misunderstood my announcement. The festival will be headlined by Malawians and when the final poster is out, you will see that we still have Malawians as headliners. We are a local festival and we want to highlight Malawians. Our dream is to treat Malawian artists the same as international ones.”
He dismissed the notion that local acts will be overshadowed by the presence of the international artists. He said they should take it as an opportunity to show what they have.
“I don’t think Malawian artists can only shine when there are no international artists. We want to prove to people that Malawian artists can still entertain in front of international artists,” said Banda.
Upon the announcement that Sandfest is going local, The Nation conducted an online survey to gauge people’s views on the development. At least 208 people participated in the survey that took place on Twitter.
From those who participated, 51.9 percent said they welcomed the idea to have local headliners at the event, 28.8 percent said no to the idea while 19.2 percent said there were not sure.
This year’s Sand Music Festival is expected to run from September 29 to October 1 at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi.