Lake of Stars ‘expensive’ tickets could price locals out of event

Some Malawians have promised to lead a boycott against this year’s Lake of Stars Music Festival after it was announced that the tickets for the three day concert are priced at K30,000.

The party-goers claim the entry fee prices most Malawians out of the event and they wondered why the festival should be held in the country when a vast majority of locals cannot afford to attend.

The festival, to take place on the shores of Lake Malawi at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi, returns after a three year hiatus in which the organisers claimed they had been making loses from the past events.

Some of the artists that have been lined up to perform at this year’s event include award winning Zambian hip hop group Zone Fam, Swedish/Malawian Afro pop duo The Very Best and Skeffa Chimoto.

To perform at Lake of Stars
To perform at Lake of Stars

Lake of Stars, identified as one the seven must see music festivals in Africa by the CNN, pools together some of the finest artists in Malawi alongside international stars and DJs on a three-day fun-packed concert that also includes dance, poetry, film, drama and acrobatics. It has been described as a naturally Malawian festival with an international flair.

However, the K30,000 fee is likely to scare off most Malawians as they rile from an economic malaise that has been created by the withdrawal of budgetary support from donors as a result of the infamous Cashgate.

Organisers of the festival, which had been running annually for eight years before the break, last week announced that the gate charges for early bird tickets, available from May 3, would be pegged at K21, 000 only for the month of May after which people will pay K31,000.

According to organisers, only 3,000 tickets will be on sale.

“We are experiencing high demand for tickets from across Africa, so buy a ticket and guarantee your place at this year’s festival,” says a statement from the organisers.

However, the pricing regime has not gone down well with some local who say the entry fees are way too much for many locals.

“As far as I know this festival is not for Malawians for such amount. Not any Malawian local will benefit for this festival. At list the amount would come down for the locals,” noted a local party-goer Gift Gama.

Kennedy Banda added: “It is too expensive. Please think twice when you are making the prices. K31,000 is USD 100 bank rate. This is bad news for the locals. Please don’t be so greedy when it comes to prices.”

However, in response, organisers have said the local tickets are fair when compared to international prices.

“International tickets are currently priced at £90 or 60,000 kwacha. Local price at K21,000 is fair – this is for three days entertainment across three stages with music and art from the morning until the early hours. Over 60 artists performing from Malawi, Europe and across Africa

“Again, local price costs a third of the international price. There will also be promo offers with our partners coming soon – keep an eye on here for all festival news,” they said.

The  organisers defended the fees arguing that with over 60 artists performing from Malawi, Europe and across Africa, the price for local tickets cost a third of the international price.

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