Malawi music festival Lake of Stars returns to Salima for 15th anniversary

After a year’s break, Malawi’s biggest international arts event, the Lake of Stars Festival, is returning to the central region for its 15th anniversary celebrations.

Will Jameson posing with former Malawi Finance Minister Ken Lipenga at Lake of Stars

Kim of Diamonds one of the artists billed to perform at Lake of Stars 2018 edition which is the 25th anniversary

According to a statement made available to Nyasa Times, the three day extravaganza will take place this year in a new location in Leopards Bay, Lifuwa Salima.

The festival, which was recently voted one of the World’s Best in the Fest300 Awards, is being held from September 28 – September 30 at the newly constructed, Malawi-owned, Kabumba Hotel resort, situated at the foot of Senga Hills in Salima.

“I’m delighted to be returning to the central region and working with a new venue partner in 2018. Lake of Stars is known for breaking new ground in Malawi so it’s fitting that for our 15th anniversary celebrations year we are offering something new and exciting for our loyal audience.

“When I started the festival I always planned for it to move around the country so that different areas of Malawi could benefit from the boost in tourism, social outreach and economic benefits that the festival brings. We are excited to celebrate our special anniversary at Kabumba Hotel, a stunning new site with over a kilometre of beach front, a tranquil wooded hillside and excellent facilities. It’s also only around 125km from Lilongwe, making it accessible from people all around the country and international visitors to come and celebrate with us,” Lake of Stars Director Will Jameson explained.

The statement further added that fans of the event can expect an exciting programme of local and international music and arts, set on a wide expanse of rolling golden sands backed by a lush tree-covered hillside.

In his remarks, Director of Tourism Isaac Katopola said: “We are delighted to see the festival return to Lake Malawi to celebrate their incredible 15 years of culture, music, arts and travel.”

Early Malawian artist bookings for this year’s festival include current hot female artist Kim of Diamonds, who will be making her debut at Lake of Stars following her successful set at the recent Set It Off event in Zomba.

Kim of Diamonds will be joined by Madalitso Band who impressed crowds at Tanzania’s Sauti Za Busura festival in 2017; George Kalukusha, who has recently returned to Malawi after a stint honing his musical craft in South Africa; and the Forus Dance Crew who have been wowing audiences with their jaw-dropping routines.

Alongside these will be Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit, who will be amping things up with their five-piece indie rock sounds, and poetry from charismatic Scottish wordsmith Michael Pedersen.

Many more artist announcements will be made over the coming months spanning music, poetry, theatre, dance and more. An application process is also open for artists wishing to apply for the festival.

In line with Lake of Stars’ strong tradition of engaging with the community within which it operates, an Outreach Programme will be established again this year, working closely with the owner of Kabumba Hotel, Ephraim Mganda Chiume, and local community leaders.

Past outreach successes have included hosting a Day of Ideas to inspire and motivate local school pupils, organizing community sports matches, staging free concerts for the local village, recycling wood from the festival into school desks and benches and donating mattresses and sheets to KCH.

Over the last 15 years, Lake of Stars has brought a unique blend of local and international talent to all three regions of Malawi, helping to boost tourism across the country and generating revenue for the economy.

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