Iwacu Muzika festival returns in new format this evening

Different from last year’s upcountry live concerts, performances of the second edition of Iwacu Muzika festival will be headlined in a different format, with the first show scheduled this Saturday, organisers have said. 

The move comes after the government put a temporary ban on concerts, festivals and all public gatherings since March, to avoid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The annual festival is organised by East African Promoters (EAP), in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Culture, and ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi among other partners, to promote Rwandan music by bringing together different artistes in their respective age brackets on the same stage.

 

According to Joseph Mushyoma, the CEO of EAP, all the performances of this year’s festival will exclusively be aired on national broadcaster’s Rwanda Television (RTV).

 

Meanwhile, people will also be allowed to follow the shows on the soon-to-be-announced social media platforms of the festival to ensure that a bigger number of Rwandans, in and outside the country, are able to follow the performances at ease.

Speaking at a media briefing this week, Mushyoma said the changes were made as a result of the current pandemic situation.

“Artistes used to perform before their fans in upcountry concerts but it is impossible to do it now due to the Covid-19 situation that we are going through. Changes had to happen because of the current situation but because there is need to keep entertainment alive from home despite the crisis,” he stressed.

“We are aware the government is doing its best for Rwandans to bring the situation back to normal and that’s why we are making sure the performances happen in a manner that abides with the precautionary measures to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

According to the schedule, performances kick off today—June 20 and will run until September 26. Artistes will be performing every Saturday between 9pm to 10.30pm on Rwanda Television.

A total of 15 artistes are on the line-up to perform at the festival including Gospel, traditional, and secular musicians to ensure diversity. Bruce Melodie is expected to grace the festival’s opening this evening.

Mushyoma explained that the shows were scheduled during the weekend to gain a bigger audience on the screens as well as to ensure that music fans do not miss out on the chance to follow the performances of their favourite artistes.

Talent exposure

Apart from music performances, Mushyoma said they are looking to create a platform for talented aspiring artistes in different categories including live painting, poetry, fashion, drama and photography among others, whereby they can use the opportunity to show the best out of their talents before a bigger audience.

EAP, as the festival organisers, are working with the Ministry of Youth and Culture and Imbuto Foundation for better coordination in selecting best performing artists in last edition’s ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi so they are given a chance to perform during the festival.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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