MYSC stops hosting of festivals at stadium > Promoters to look for venues on the outskirts
With declining Cd sales, the entertainment industry faces a tough time ahead following the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development (MYSC)’s decision to stop offering national stadiums as venues for music festivals.
Voice Entertainment can reveal that the ministry has taken a stern decision to “cease” hosting of music festivals at the stadiums; the only place in the country- especially in the cities -which can accommodate a significant number of revelers.
In a leaked letter dated last week from the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), which is in charge of the stadiums on behalf of the Ministry, the lands and Facilities Director; Kearabetswe Galebotse said that the Ministry took the decision.
The letter reads in part “Kindly note that the Ministry of Youth empowerment, Sport and Culture development (MYESCD) has taken a decision to cease hosting of music festivals in the stadia.”
In the past major festivals that have been hosted in stadiums include the UB40 live in Botswana concert, The Gaborone International Music Festival (GIMC), The Maun monate ko Motjying event, Tlatsa Lebala event amongst others.
Reached for a comment, the Permanent Secretary (PS) to the Ministry, Kago Ramokate confirmed this.
Ramokate said “last year after the GIMC we took a decision to institute stricter measures in so far as hosting events at the stadiums. We decided however to let those that had already been booked for last year to go on and further review the same this year.”
“The Ministry has taken a decision to minimize the music festivals at the stadiums. This means that although the BNSC is the sole custodian of the stadiums we will now be involved in the issuing of permission to use them,” he explained.
Ramokate went further to explain that the main reason for minimizing music festivals at stadiums is because of their locations.
“You will note that the stadiums are mostly situated at residential areas and hence the complaints on noise pollution,” he said.
Quized as to whether the ministry will find alternative places for music festival the PS said, “We are now looking at the private sector to assist in that regard. For now we have no other alternatives for promoters or those that want to host music festivals.”
A local promoter who refused to be named for fear of discrimination said, “The reasoning by government is absurd. What about BDF day, Police day and Church crusades are they not held at the same places, don’t they project the same noise pollution govt is worried about?”
The promoter further said, “This is a witch hunt, clearly.”
Whilst generally CD sales have been on the decline worldwide, artist and performers often rely on bookings to make money and with Government’s decision critics have seen this as a major blow to the music sector.
With no consultation with the sector, the entertainment industry has been dealt a hard blow.
Music festivals will now have to look to the outskirts of the cities for venues.