The yearly Lake Of Stars festival in Malawi has been cancelled for 2012, organisers have said but promised to return to shores of Lake Malawi in 2013.
Director and founder of Lake of Stars, Will Jameson has said the festival is taking a year off to “support local initiatives.”
“Lake of Stars has always been about much more than just an annual festival. It’s a year-round project to promote arts, travel and development, but staging the festival consumes all of our small team’s time and resources making it difficult to focus on our other goals,” Jameson said in a statement.
He added: “After eight years of the festival, we have decided to take stock of our experiences in putting the festival together, and spend some time supporting local initiatives in Malawi.
“ We also want to take time this year to incorporate the feedback from Malawians and international festival goers, artists and sponsors to help us build a bigger and better event in 2013″.
The team behind Lake of Stars are remaining engaged in Malawi in 2012 through the support of local arts and creative initiatives, and have ambitious plans for the event in 2013, the statement said
: “We are looking into ways in which we can support the development of the creative industries here in Malawi. We will be supporting the good work the Arterial Network Malawi, Music Crossroads and Blantyre Arts Festival are doing here.
“Also, in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, we are submitting a proposal to the Scottish Government to support the impact of local arts projects and deliver a three year training course in creative business skills,” he said.
“We are really keen that the 2013 Lake of Stars Festival is a launch pad for Malawian artists and creative professionals to showcase what they have to offer. We will use the extra time we have in 2012 to ensure we deliver on our ambitions for the event.”
The international media hailed Lake of Stars as the most spectacular festival in the world. The 2011 festival generated a record-breaking $1.3 million dollars of local spend, according to organisers.