Tigo Fiesta raising the bar with live performances

Friday October 5 2018


By Paul Owere

The Tigo Fiesta ‘Vibe Kama Lote’ 2018 edition kicked off over the weekend in Morogoro with an array of artistes putting up great performances that left many of the revellers asking for more.

On that chilly night, on the slopes of the Uluguru Mountains it was quite evident that organizers had put in the miles to get such a wonderful team to deliver the goods.

From the excitement that Whozu of the ‘Huendi Mbinguni’ fame produced to the surprise appearance of Prof Jay on stage it was all evident that this was something that revellers had been waiting for.

As the Tigo head of marketing services William Mpinga had promised, it was an all local act performing live to over 10,000 revellers most of them in their youthful years.

Something has definitely changed in the 17-year history of the festival, in an era where recorded music is facing its challenges live performances remains as the only way how fans can directly support musicians by going to the shows.

The employment of instrumentalists, dancers and backup vocalists has increased the number of people that are set to benefit from the annual festival in the process proving that this is more than just a festival.

Speaking to the beat Gadner Habash the organizing secretary of the annual event says the most of the signed artistes who are set to play live at all the concerts had practiced for some time with the band before the tour could kick off.

“Bongo Flava has grown and after last year’s trial with local content we felt it is about that time to take the challenge a notch higher by musicians performing live,” Gadner Habash told a press conference at the launch.

He added: Over the years we have noted the huge socio-economic benefits arising from hosting the Tigo Fiesta festival. Besides acting as a pedestal to positively advertise the region where the concert is held, it significantly increases the number of visitors leading to a substantial increase in business opportunities for food vendors, hotel owners, public transport operators, , entertainment spots and a wide variety of other businesses.

But as Gadner speaks highly of how the festival has raised the bar with live performances one question sticks out, how long can they maintain such high stakes in an industry that has at times proved to be so unstable with many disruptive forces at play.

Bongo Flava music industry—is a pretty exciting place for musicians and one can barely believe what it was almost none existent some 15 years ago.

Old barriers have vanished thanks to new technology, and the playing field that was once loop-sided now is more level than perhaps ever before and as a result many of the artistes are living their dreams.

Of course, while change solves problems, it can also create new ones, and that certainly holds true for today’s music industry.

As agreed live music is where the money is for musicians. However, there’s one major disconnect—playing live costs musicians money.

In the past, musicians were able to offset the cost of touring by selling recorded music. That CD you bought would help your tour-support free musician travel to the next gig. With that avenue all but gone, just how can a musician pay for touring?

The first few stops might be quite a success but as experience shows getting g the same team to travel across the 15 venues in a country as expansive as Tanzania will be challenging especially as fatigue kicks in.

This year’s ‘Vibe kama Lote’ edition is supposed to be a celebration of Bongo Flava’s journey, therefore a place to showcase the best stories that have unfolded in the two decades.

These stories cannot be told in any other way apart from quality performances and creativity that underscores the milestones of the industry.

This, therefore, calls for a performance of its kind to prove doubters that these artistes have grown to the standards that we crave for from foreign artistes who once upon a time raked in hundreds of millions.