When it was introduced as a new festival late last year, little to nothing was known about the music festival that would be known as Nyege Nyege.
For starters, the name gave moralists chills as they kept assuming the worst, but that wasn’t all, it was that one festival that didn’t only get out of Kampala, but carried all the fun to jinja, at the source of the Nile.
Of course the debut edition was a hit, it was in a rain season that the festival turned out rather soggy and muddy, but people enjoyed dancing in the rain.
The second edition of the festival started last Friday at the Nile Discovery Njeru, along Jinja road, with the reviews from the previous festival, almost all Kampala party animals couldn’t wait to get onto those buses to hit the Nile.
Though, for many festival enthusiasts, it was more of a question of which kind of fun they were going to indulge in, those that had been at the festival last year wanted to know if the2015 experimental showcase was going to define itself.
At the second edition, the festival may have defined itself as the ultimate party place; the fun was on the spot, the beers, spirits, smoke and above all electronic music.
It’s the perfect party mood for those that don’t want to sleep for a whole three days but drink, eat and dance, the camping site adds flavor to the whole experience, ensuring that people don’t have to move with their luggage all the time.
This time unlike last year, the music didn’t go silent at any one time for instance, the last DJ of the day would play until 7am.
Problem though, this year’s edition fell short on musical content; they had successfully curated artistes from the region like the Njeru Band but it was the DJs that saturated the schedule, from one Dj to another and most of them playing electronic, it fast felt like a club rather than a ‘music festival.’
Making matters worse, some of the earlier announced performers either kept changing their performance times or deciding not to perform at all.
Acts like Joshua Kagimu and his Tontoma Poetry, Afroman Spice and even MoRoots had been advertised earlier but never performed and a communication about this change wasn’t made.
Even acts performing on playback CDs was way below the belt especially for people that escape noisy concerts for music festivals.
But Nyege Nyege is just about the fun, in fact on any day the music could be a by the way, the festival is curated well enough to help you get away, and probably wasted if you feel like.
The festival as it is, may not add a lot to the art industry, though could be a goldmine for the tourism industry that has still failed to harness numbers using the creative economy; with over 20 DJs and 30 musical acts, most of them from other countries and a sound that was hugely relatable, Nyege Nyege has a lot of potential if it was pushed as a tourism carnival with bungee Jumping, quad biking and water rafting thrown on the same ticket.
The festival ended on Monday morning, though a big number of Ugandans had left Jinja early on Sunday to catch the football match at Namboole.