Government is to blame for Evelyn Lagu’s failed concert – Abtex
Written by Derrick Asaba on March 31, 2021
Last weekend saw a relief in the Uganda music industry as Evelyn Lagu staged her debut concert dubbed ‘Save Evelyn Love’ that happened from March 26 to 28 at different venues. This, however, uniquely, was a charity concert that fostered fundraising for the singer’s kidney transplant.
This for the first time since the government of Uganda suspended all musical events, is one concert that was okayed by the Health Ministry to take place since it was grounded on a genuinely charitable cause. However, things didn’t turn out as expected by the organisers.
The shows didn’t do well in the first venues of Theatre La Bonita and Freedom City but managed to raise UGX 9M according to reliable sources. One at Big Zone in Nansana that was expected to see a higher turn up was called off moments after people had started storming the venue by police officials.
Bbosa Sserunkuma a Ugandan film director, producer, screenwriter and actor who was one of the event organisers said this was unfortunate and hoped to engage police on the matter at hand.
“We had just started welcoming people and there were many signs that people would pay but police stopped them from continuous entry. They bent the eventual call off on bleach of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) yet people were distanced and had their masks on. We hope to engage them in talks to find out more,” Bbosa remarked after the concert was stopped.
On the other hand, Abtex promotions CEO Abbey Musinguzi blamed the government for inconsideration of the musician’s plight by not allowing for a night concert.
“Ugandans are used to partying at night and no one gets off from their job to the concert during daytime save for a few renowned concerts like Enkuka. Allowing her concert to occur was as if they asked her to collect water in a hollow basket. If they were really merciful to her, they would have even removed the curfew for a specific day so that she can get the money or even give her money enough for her treatment which is realistically affordable to them,” Abtex noted with great concern.
Meanwhile, the Uganda Police mouthpiece Fred Enanga came out recently warning music promoters, artists and comedians who plotted for a peaceful demonstration that however much it’s lawful, they should go slow and take an example of Lagu’s concert that happened over the weekend.
“Promoters should understand that they can arrange for a show that hosts less than 200 people in a more organised venue and following all Covid-19 SOPs. They should engage the Health ministry and concentrate their argument on Lagu’s concert to see whether their plea can be considered but demonstrations won’t help,” Enanga told journalists.
But can it workout the way it’s argued to be implemented? Or do we see people step out of office to shake a bone in one of the future concerts since the whole ‘opening up of musical events’ idea seems not to add flesh onto its bones. Eyes to the space.