It was more of beer and less of musical performances at the Mutzig Beer Fest on Saturday. The beer aside, the prospect of watching singer Meddy Ngabo after so many years abroad was the other highlight of the festival on Saturday.
The annual festival that is in its seventh year running was held in Nyamata town, Bugesera District at the Golden Tulip Hotel.
From the early hours of the afternoon, it was slow and thick traffic from as far off as Kicukiro in Kigali as private cars, taxi motors and commuter minibuses all ushered in festival goers in their thousands.
To their credit, and like has been the case with previous editions, Bralirwa, the organisers of the beer fest shuttled revelers from different pickup points in Kigali on complimentary terms.
However the biggest section of the crowd waited for nightfall before hitting the venue. True to beer fest tradition, the main activity was drinking of beer to the backdrop of loud music.
Musically, there were murmurs from the crowd for lack of any formidable performers before Meddy could come on.
Just a Band, the house and funk band from Kenya failed to excite the crowd with many stating that local artistes could have been lined up to perform.
Chilean guitarist Tito Uribe and Makumbi sound too failed to elicit excitement from the largely youthful crowd with their jazz performance.
On a night when there were hardly any curtain raising acts to write home about, Meddy performed to a yearning crowd that brought back memories of Diamond Platnumz at the Rwanda Fiesta at the same venue earlier in the year.
Meddy, who was performing home for the first time in 7 years, started off his performance with his songs from back in the day including Ese Urambona, Akaramata, Igipimo, Amayobera, Inkoramutima and Mubwire among others.
He later performed the songs he released when he left for the U.S in 2010 including Ndi Uw’i Kigali, Nasara, Sibyo, Burindebucya and the gospel hit Holy Spirit among others. He capped his performance with Ntawamusimbura.
Meddy’s performance was solid and impressed the many who turned up to see him. His dancing skills and ability to play the guitar endeared him to his fans.
At some point, the singer was overcome by emotions, intimating to his fans the loneliness and boredom being far away from home. Like his peer The Ben, the welcome Meddy received befitted that of a star.
There were various beer points from which one had the option of buying a beer or presenting a beer coupon for complimentary drinks.
The coupons were in plenty and came with cheeky lines like “beer yourself”, or “with this coupon, save water. Drink another beer.”
These were passed around freely among beer lovers, but with only one tent handling coupons, the commotion and stampede were the price to pay for the otherwise free beers.
Many people gave up and either passed their coupons to the next person, pocketed them, or simply tossed them away. All in all, drinks were in plenty.
The show ended at a half past mid night, with police ensuring that everybody made it back to the city safely.