Malawi’s biggest arts event, the Lake of Stars Festival, is returning for its 10th edition and will take place this weekend from 25 to 27 September in the stunning surroundings of Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi. This year’s festival 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. 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. Other regional stars on the bill are Mokoomba and Bryan K (Zimbabwe), Zeus (Botswana), Daena Weeks (Namibia), DJ Kaliwa (Zambia), KrTC (Swaziland), Stlofa (Lesotho), Menes and Etoile de la paix from DR Congo and South African’s Uhuru, Toya Delazy, EJ von Lyrik, bFake and DJ Fosta.
More international flavour will come from cutting-edge Scottish trio Young Fathers, winners of the prestigious 2014 UK Mercury Prize and Scottish album of the year award, helping to further the cultural connections between Scotland and Malawi.
Among the Malawian artists to perform are hip-hop favourite, Gwamba; Danny Kalima, recipient of the recent Malawi Musician’s Union award for best RnB artist; and up-and-coming singer-songwriter George Kalukusha. They will be joined by the likes of Agorosso, Body, Mind & Soul, Bucci, Dan Lu, Donnex Muva, Gasper Nali, Jaco Jana, Lady Pace, Lucius Banda, Lulu, Lusubilo Band, Michael Mountain, The Moods Malawi, Neil and the New Vibration, Sally Nyundo, The Smooth Groovers and Tigris.
In addition to a strong musical line-up, festival patrons will also enjoy a diverse selection of other entertainment, ranging from poetry, theatre, dance and art to a new interactive science display area. The festival will also continue its family-friendly ethos, with children’s activities and free tickets for those aged 12 or under. For those wanting a permanent reminder of the experience, Lake of Stars merchandise and other local arts and crafts will be available.
The 2014 edition of the festival was a huge success, reaching an estimated 573 million internationally and 24 million locally and regionally via the media. The event generated an estimated $1.7 million for Malawi’s economy, benefitting over 85 local businesses.
Lake of Stars Director Will Jameson said: “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.”
Lake of Stars community outreach programme
Lake of Stars' community outreach activities add another dimension to the festival. The project is Lake of Star’s opportunity to work alongside partners such as Ministry of Youth, UNICEF, UN Women, and UNFPA (Safeguard Young People Project) and local projects.
After the festival is finished, wood from the stages will be recycled into bookshelves and desks for the local Mwana Africa Nursery and Primary School. Visit madeinmalawi.org to find out more. You can support the school further by donating books or stationary or visiting their JustGiving website. Solar lamps used at the festival will also be donated to the surrounding communities thanks to sponsor SunnyMoney Solar Lights. And a number of artists will be part of a concert in Chipoko village in advance of the festival, and there'll be a competitive football tournament run by the Lake of Stars team. Meanwhile, Elson Aaron Kambalu, founder of Art House Africa, and Mook Lion, Durban street artist, will be working with the local community to promote Chipoka and Mangochi's art.
For more details visit the Lake Of Stars website or watch the video below.