TURNING FIVE: The fifth edition of the Purple Party is happening this Sunday at the Uganda Museum. Over 200 artistes have been advertised to attend the event, which will also see budding artistes a chance to sign a three-year audio and recording contract. NTV The Beat presenter
Douglas Lwanga, who is the organiser of the event, shared his plan for this year’s event.
Why did you change the venue for this year’s Purple Party?
Every year we give our followers a new experience. We started from Club Bulldog in Wandegeya, then we went to Lido Beach, Entebbe but most people said it was far from town so this time we wanted an outdoor event and the Uganda Museum sounded perfect.
So do we see the Purple Party shifting next year?
Every venue has its own issues but we hope to create a new experience for our followers even next year, so probably we shall change the venue.
What is going to be different this year because the line up shows the same artistes who have performed for the past five years?
We are dedicating this year’s Purple Party to young talent. Not that all of them are going to perform but we want to give an opportunity to talented young boys and girls. And the Purple Party is selecting those that are talented, but probably don’t have money to record and shoot videos.
And how are you going to do that?
We partnered with a label called Riddim Records and they will be signing one girl for a three-year contract and then record a full album of eight songs for the guys; audios and videos. Which we hope will be a good move for their careers. We hope these will be the next crop of artistes who will tell people that it was because of the Purple Party that their careers started.
Why Riddim and not Swangz or Fenon?
The person who owns that studio picked an interest in the Purple Party and they approached me with a deal because they have the audio and visual services. It was an offer that I had to take up because it was worth it.
What criteria are you going to use to select the winners?
We already started the campaign. We told people to send us an acapella on WhatsApp doing any song. Our team would then look through the videos. We have done our selection and on Sunday we shall pick the best 10, from which we shall choose the winner.
So, how do you manage to pay all the more than 200 artistes who come for your event?
We do not pay them. These artistes just come on board to help a brother. It is more of a brotherhood. Our original concept of the Purple Party was celebration of Ugandan music. There is no one on the poster we have not talked to. We first send them a request and if they are okay with it, then we put them on the posters. But not everyone on the poster will perform. There are so many who are not advertised who will be there.
But you get a lot of money from the gate collection and sponsors.
To be honest, these events do not bring in money. If you ever sit down with a promoter, they will tell you their hustles. I also had that mentality that these events fetch you a lot of money. The Purple Party just has partners but not sponsors. The money that comes in caters for the production (sound, stage and lights), venue and other costs. The money that we put in is actually a lot and it comes from my pockets. I realised that you can go home with only Shs10,000 after an event yet you had a huge crowd. Let me educate people on how to get money from an event; get sponsorships. But still, our industry has had very few companies injecting money in local events.
Then why do you still hold the Purple Party every year if you are not benefitting from it?
I am building a brand that will stay even when I am off television. I won’t be on TV, say in 10 years. In future I know that this event will grow so big that I will have to pay all the artistes who perform. We are just five years old. There is a promoter who I will not mention, who once told me never to think about money in five years but to start thinking about it after seven years. I have never reaped anything out of the Purple Party but I am not about to back down and the beauty about it is that it has always gotten crowds, even at the tours we have carried out. Probably sponsors can open their eyes and realise that this is one event worth investing in.
Five years calls for a celebration. Why didn’t you invite an artiste maybe from Kenya or Tanzania to be part of the party?
I do not want to drift from the foundation of what made the event what it is. The foundation of Ugandan music, Ugandan artistes and I would love to stick to that.
What to expect at the party…
WILL ALL THE 200 ARTISTES PERFORM?
We have so many artistes gathering at the venue but not all of them will perform. Celebration of Ugandan music means Bebe Cool coming around, talking to Bobi Wine, chilling with Chameleone, giving advice to each other.
THOSE HINTED TO PERFORM
Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Irene Ntale, Chameleone, Rema, Radio and Weasel, Winnie Nwagi, Spice Diana, Lydia Jazmine among others.
WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND
The logic is simple. Yes you see these artistes in bars but you have never seen all of them at one venue, performing for you and interacting with you at the same time. That is why we call it the biggest celebration of Ugandan music.