Once bitten twice shy. Following an almost logistically disastrous event back in 2016 that saw music lovers complaining about overcrowding and stampede, the organizers have vowed to get things right this time around. As the ticket sales continue months after the doors were first opened, jittery spectators are beginning to press panic buttons, haunted by memories of two years ago.
“Our supporters should take it easy,” promoter Debbie Smith tells Lifestyle. “We have learnt from our mistakes and intend to go the extra mile to ensure there is no repeat of 2016.” Smith says ticket sales are also not as high as it seems.
“People see us making noise on social media and think our tickets are selling like fat cakes but that is not the case.” She says as a measure to ensure there will be fewer people at this year’s event than the 14 000 they had in 2016, they have increased ticket prices. Smith says there will also be an increased police presence to ensure smooth movement of traffic around the venue. “We have also identified a bigger parking space away from the actual venue. No cars will be parked outside. Even VIPs will park at a venue outside Duma FM Grounds and be chauffeured inside by a shuttle.”
The momentum for the 5th Annual Hamptons Jazz Festival has been building up since the announcement of headline artists.
Billy Ocean, Salif Keita and Bhudazza have recently taken to their respective social media platforms to confirm their attendance. “Hamptonettes, as Hamptons lovers are affectionately known, were surely excited about these confirmations,” Smith says. On the local front, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Socca Moruakgomo & Thato Jessica have also confirmed their attendance via videos posted on their social media platforms and on the Hamptons social media pages.
“We have also done radio jingles across local radio stations. Street pole adverts are also visible around Gaborone major roads.”
In addition to the Brit Billy Ocean, Lesotho’s Bhudazza, and Mali’s Salif Keita , the show will also feature international acts in the form of South Africa’s Amanda Black, Zahara, and the duo of Nathi and Amanda Makanyi.
On the local front Botswana will be represented by Moruakgomo, Ramogotsi, Thabang Gaorogwe and Shanti Lo. ATI, Thato Jessica, and Ndingo Johwa will also join the local performers alongside Deejays Jazzy Pete and Bush while RB 2’s Resego Motlhokathari, Zenzele Hirchsfeld, and Losika Seboni will be the hosts.
“We currently have a couples’ tickets promotion going for P899 with two free t-shirts, valid until end of February. Normal tickets are P599, with no merchandize, while those wanting a VIP experience will part with P3500.” Smith says, adding “The VIP experience includes welcome beverages, food by Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino chefs, drinks vouchers, chocolate fountain, Hamptons Tshirt or Fedora Hat, Hamptons’ goody bag, Moet glass, and the opportunity to meet and greet celebrity artists.”
She says there are also accommodation packages for those coming from far. The festival will take place at Duma FM Grounds (Gaborone North) on Saturday March 24, 2018.