Category Archives: Events

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Malawi’s biggest arts event, the award-winning Lake of Stars Festival, is returning in 2015 and will take place in the stunning surroundings of Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi. The event was recently rated amongst the world’s most beautiful festivals by Gigwise.com and has been described by Capital Radio Malawi as “an eclectic fusion of the arts on the sunny shores of the warm heart of Africa.”

The 2015 Lake of Stars festival will be held on the last weekend of September, 25th – 27th, and promises even more of the high quality entertainment that has seen it develop into a globally respected event. Spread across three days and three stages, the line-up will feature a wealth of talent from Malawi, Africa and beyond. Alongside the main festival at Nkopola Lodge, free outreach activities will also take place in neighbouring Chipoka Village for the local community.

For the first time, the festival will feature a Nigerian artist, Ric Hassani, whose huge hit Dance Dance Baby Dance can be heard blasting from every club, minibus and local radio across Malawi. Among the Malawian artists already confirmed to perform are hip-hop favourite, Gwamba; recipient of the recent Malawi Musician’s Union award for Best R&B Artist, Danny Kalima; and up-and-coming singer-songwriter George Kalukusha. International flavour will come from cutting-edge Scottish trio Young Fathers, winners of the prestigious 2014 Mercury Prize and 2014 Scottish Album of the Year Award, helping to further the cultural connections between Scotland and Malawi. Many more acts will be announced over the next few months.

Last year’s festival saw a number of local and international brands partnering with the event. This trend is set to continue in 2015 with support confirmed from the country’s national airline carrier, Malawian Airlines, as well as Multichoice, Continental Outdoors and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, all of whom were involved in 2014. A new partnership has also been established with solar energy social enterprise SunnyMoney, who will be working with Lake of Stars to illuminate parts of the festival using their solar lights. After the festival, these will be donated to the local community in Chipoka Village.

Lake of Stars Director Will Jameson said:

We’re excited to be launching this year’s Lake of Stars Festival with the backing of a number of our sponsors and partners from 2014, alongside new partners. To run the event to world-class standards is a huge undertaking, and one that wouldn’t be possible without their generous support. There are still opportunities to partner with Lake of Stars and reach our media audience of 600 million, so if any companies are interested please do get in touch.

Last year’s festival was our biggest and best to date, and this year we want to deliver an even better experience for all those who are involved. We are extremely grateful for the love and support that’s shown to Lake of Stars each year by the people of Malawi and we want to continue raising the bar for live events within the country.

A limited number of three-day tickets for this year’s festival went on sale on Friday March 6th at the Super Early Bird discounted price of MWK19,000 (about USD40). In Lilongwe, these tickets are still available from Papaya Café in the Game Complex, and in Blantyre from Café Ameca at CURE Hospital. MWK1,000 from each of this ticket type will be donated to support flood relief efforts in Mangochi. Further pre-sale tickets will be released for the festival at a later date, with plenty of opportunities to buy tickets at a discounted price before the full entrance fee applies.

Lake of Stars has grown from humble beginnings since its inception in 2003 at Chinteche Inn to become a high-profile, multi-arts event. Frequently recognised as a leading player in the African festivals market, Lake of Stars offers Malawian artists an unrivalled opportunity to showcase their talents on an international stage. According to Malawi’s The Nation newspaper, it is “bigger, better…boosting the economy through events tourism” and South Africa’s Mail & Guardian says: “Lake of Stars has become much more than a music festival, it is a celebration of artistic expression, and increasingly, a platform to launch young Malawian talent.”

In the months leading up to the festival, Lake of Stars will be holding more cultural events and activities across the country than ever before. Plans include a Mzuzu Sunset Sessions event in April, an international film festival in Lilongwe in May, a children’s festival in June and branching out into sports tourism through involvement with the Mount Mulanje Porters Race and Malawi’s Olympic Team in July.

For further information and announcements about Lake of Stars, visit http://www.lakeofstars.org, follow the festival on Twitter and connect on Facebook.

Lake of Stars 2014 announced, tickets on sale now

The dates and first two acts have now been revealed for Lake of Stars 2014.

The Malawi arts festival will run from 26th to 28th September at a yet-to-be-announced venue on Lake Malawi.

Skeffa Chimoto and Peter Mawanga are the first two acts to be announced, with further acts and the venue to be revealed early 2014.

2014 is set to be a big year for Malawi, with the country also enjoying inclusion in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 – top ten countries. The Lake of Stars organisers promise ‘a true adventure into the cultural heartbeat of a vibrant nation’ for those heading to Malawi for the festival.

Weekend tickets for Lake of Stars are available online from here. Watch a round-up of the project’s City of Stars festival below, which was held in September 2013 in Lilongwe.

One Love Bob Marley Tribute Festival in Lilongwe this weekend

One Love Festival

This weekend sees Lilongwe once again playing host to the One Love Bob Marley Tribute Festival, with a theme this year of Unity, taking inspiration from the lyrics of Marley’s song ZimbabweWe come together to overcome the little trouble/to divide and rule could only tear us apart.

Hosted by Sally Nyundo and taking place at various venues across the city, One Love is a celebration of the music and life of Bob Marley, running from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 May. The legacy of Marley has inspired many Malawians and Malawian musicians, and it is this legacy that inspired the first One Love concert at Chameleon Bar in 2006. The concert then grew into a two day event in 2012, and this year into a four day festival.

Visit the Facebook event page here or below watch Bob Marley performing Zimbabwe at Zimbabwe’s liberation ceremonies in 1980, where it is said the first words officially spoken in the new nation were “Ladies and gentlemen, Bob Marley and the Wailers”.

Festival roundup: Moon-Rock Festival and Sand Festival

This weekend Malawi plays host to not one, but TWO festivals, and they both feature some pretty amazing acts…

Moon-Rock is a three day festival taking place 12th to the 14th October at Chintheche Inn, near Nkhata Bay. It will be feature artists, DJ’s and bands from across Malawi, with part of the proceeds going to “Children of the Wilderness”, an environmental educational and life skills programme.

The current line-up for the festival includes Peter Mawanga and the Amaravi Movement, Mafilika, Body Mind and Soul, Music band, Konkalazi band, Sally Nyundo, Young Chilaga and the Black Survivors band, Mark Haze and the 12th Avenue Band, and more. Details on tickets, travel and accommodation over here.

The second festival taking place this weekend is Sand Festival. This four-day fiesta is held at Sunbird Nkopola, Mangochi, and aims to benefit locals by working closely with them and making the opportunities present at the festival available to them.

Lucius Banda, the festival’s coordinator, will also be one of the headliners. He’ll be joined by international artists South Africa’s Professor, Zambia’s General Kanene and Botswana’s Makhirikhiri, as well as homegrown acts including Black Missionaries, Skeffa Chimoto, Mlaka Maliro, Great Angels, Piksy and Maskal.

Maskal and Pop Dogg at Club Nassau, Dublin, Ireland

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Malawian music comes to Dublin this Saturday with live performances from Maskal, Pop Dogg, MC Creative and Sean Focus. Get more event info here and listen to Pop Dogg’s ‘Am a Champ’ below.