There is a saying in the entertainment industry that goes, ‘you are only as good as your last performance’, and if the murmurings about the latest instalment of the annual Mascom Boosta Bash music festival are anything to go by, there may not be much to look forward to come December 31st 2014.
The relatively low attendance, poor sound quality and failure to perform by some artists/DJs due to time constraints at the main event (December 31), combined with the possibility of artists not having been paid their dues may not augur well for the future of the event.
But whatever the case, one could not fault the performance of the artists. South Africa’s Kabelo Mabalane (KB), Mandoza and Stimela gave the revellers a night to remember with a selection of popular songs from their heyday. Local girl, Samantha Mogwe did not disappoint either. She is definitely destined for greater things.
Lifestyle got up close and personal with the Mascom Boosta Bash organiser and founder, Seabelo Modibe who remains adamant the event was a success.
“People seem to forget that the Boosta Bash is no longer a once off event,” he said. “Unlike in the past, we have a series of events leading up to New Years Eve.”
He said they had four events; a comedy show, and three concerts in Ghanzi, Molepolole and Serowe prior to the main event. “We were on the road for days without rest,” Modibe said. “It’s very strenuous. People judge us based on the December 31st event and it is not fair. They don’t consider the success of the other events held outside Gaborone.”
Modibe said they also held a sold out comedy night earlier in December as part of the Boosta Bash.
On the issue of payments, Seabelo admitted there are still some artists yet to be paid.
“Usually we pay artists after an event and under circumstances where the show was not successful enough for us to pay all artists, we engage our sponsors to source funds.”
Modibe said at the moment they were still evaluating.
After seeing, first hand, the state he was in on January 1, 2014 following the main event, one could not help but appreciate the challenges of having to organise such a gigantic event.
“I’m out. I can’t do this anymore,” he said at the time.
A week later Modibe is ready to soldier on and take the Mascom Boosta Bash to the next level. He admits the event may have become too big for his relatively small team of organisers. He wants to involve more people and grow the event further. “
I want to turn the Boosta Bash into our very own local version of Macufe Festival (South Africa). It should be an all encompassing event for the arts. ”
Some of the biggest challenges they face concerning the main event, Modibe says, are the venue and permit. He says the permit for the main event, which they only got at the eleventh hour, was meant to last only until midnight although the concert went on until the early hours of the morning.
“There are a lot of challenges that affect the December 31st event.” Save for the sound quality, he had no regrets about the main event. “It (the sound) was not about using the wrong equipment. It had all to do with technical glitches.”
Modibe said contrary to popular belief, promoters are not making lots of money from festivals. “I don’t make any profit from the Boosta Bash.”
He said as much as they have sponsors like Mascom they still have to inject their own money because the costs of organising an event of this magnitude are incredibly high. “All I get is the goodwill. The feeling that comes with knowing I contribute to discovering new talent as well as empowering other Batswana to earn some form of income through what I do.”
Modibe said Batswana should learn to support local talent and help grow the entertainment industry. Whatever the misgivings about the Mascom Boosta Bash, it seems, is here to stay and promises to come back bigger and better.