KigaliUp Festival returns bigger and better


Festival organisers are promising exciting kids' activities and encourage parents to bring their children to enjoy the experience. Courtesy.

It will be two festivals in one at this year’s KigaliUp Music Festival, with a parallel festival dedicated specifically to children.

Previously, the festival has targeted mostly the adult audience, with only a splattering of kids’ fun activities.

This year, however, organisers have sought to make the festival more inclusive, with a special kids’ edition dubbed KigaliUp Kids, and that will run alongside the main festival.


The KigaliUp Music Festival runs from August 19-20, at IPRC Kicukiro (formerly ETO Kicukiro).

Some of the fun activities lined up for children include bouncing castles, jugglers, music workshops, and face painting among others.


According to renowned musician Mighty Popo, the organiser of KigaliUp, it’s time that children partook of Kigali’s various entertainment options, hence the KigaliUp Kids Festival.

“KigaliUp has been one of Rwanda’s most popular and prestigious music festivals since it began in 2011 but in the past parents with children have not been able to fully join the festivities. We as festival organisers feel it’s imperative to involve children in cultural activities. KigaliUp Kids will be a great place for families to go with their children before the main music festival begins. Bring your blankets and good vibes and expect a unique day for the whole family,” Popo explained. The Kids festival will run from 10a.m to 3p.m on each of the two festival days, while the main festival will run till 11p.m.

The event will feature different activities like bouncing castles and face painting, among others. Courtesy

Organisers expect a much bigger crowd at this year’s festival, partly on account of the star-studded lineup of international acts that will grace the stage;

These include the Ivorian international reggae act Alpha Blondy, the main act, and the Senegalese musician and actor Ismael Lo. Other international acts that have been lined up include; Manou Gallo from Ivory Coast, Soleil Laurent and Quantum Split, and Nkento Bakaji, an eleven piece female Congolese band.


“People that I have talked to about KigaliUp Kids are so excited. They say that they’re always looking for more events and activities to do with their kids around the city. I wish I’d thought of this six years ago,” Popo further remarked, adding


“One thing that not all parents understand is the importance of creativity and play to childhood development. It may not seem like it, but when a child is hitting their toy against the wall, or throwing it across the room, they are actually learning. They are learning about sounds and space.

In much the same way, when children go to a big event like KigaliUpKids they learn about human interaction and patience. Adult-organised events directed at kids teach that fun can be had without being rebellious and that there is a value to listening.”