It had been the most anticipated music festival of 2014 with a rich line-up of local and South African (SA) jazz acts that included Freshly Ground, Hugh Masekela, Tsepo Tshola and Joe Nina.
But as fate would have it, the heavens opened up on the eve of the festival forcing the organisers to reschedule to a later date.
And then there was the controversy surrounding the availability of Freshly Ground who would miss the festival only to perform a few months later following a legal battle with the organisers.
But the actual festival did justice to the hype that had engulfed Gaborone and the rest of the country. This year the organisers plan to take it a notch or two higher with the introduction of accessories to make it a complete outing for music lovers.
“Having had hiccups and a bumpy ride with Freshly Ground last year which we managed to successfully challenge and bring the group back in September to fulfil their obligations, fans can look forward to an unforgettable experience at this year’s festival as everything is set to blow them away,” said Debbie Smith of Hamptons Promoters.
She said this time the stage and sound will be set up way earlier so artists can rehearse in time. Security, she said, will also be tight and efficient to curb any unruly disruptions.
“We will also have horses and guard dogs patrolling the vicinity,” she said. As for accessories Smith said there will be plenty to choose from especially for the VIP section. There will be professional photographers to snap people on the red carpet as they arrive,” she said.
Restaurants have also been brought into the mix with catering services by Rhapsody’s, Rodizio and Caravella. Smith said award winning chef Mcjon Mosenene and his colleagues will also showcase their talent.
“For those with a sweet tooth,” she said, “we have bought a commercial Sephra chocolate fountain from the UK, the first of its kind in Gabs, to cater for those with a sweet tooth. The cigar and whisky chill-out area will leave our discerning gentlemen relaxing, listening to jazz, whilst the ladies get a nutter having Champagne and their own afternoon High Tea to quench their thirst too.” She said there will also be a bottle of Jameson and two Fat Bastard wines for every VIP table. KBL will also supply drinks.
“There will be food stalls at the well-groomed Duma FM grounds to include a ‘Chisanyama’ stand, two drawn food trailers and several food stalls,” Smith said. “The Hamptonettes can also expect to sit and be served in the cocktail and champagne bar where bar-tenders can serve them.”
The festival takes place on Saturday March 28 from 1100 hours until late at Duma FM grounds. International artists headlining the festival include SA’s 2015 Metro FM’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners Tsepo Tshola and Mahotela Queens as well as Stimela, Mango Grove and Zonke. Locally, Banjo Bosele, Metrophones, Hellen Dikobe, Dikakapa, Punah Gabasiane and Lister Boleseng will be part of the festival. One of Big Brother Africa 2014 housemates Goitse Kgaswane, Brando, and Gabz FM’s Jazelle Kebakile will be the hosts. Tickets are on sale at various outlets across the country.