A day after the 24th Blankets and Wine edition that was held at the Indian Association grounds, the organisers and House of DJs issued a statement apologising to the people who attended the event. They apologised about the disorganisation at the entrance since many complained about their e-tickets expiring at 4pm yet that fact wasn’t mentioned when they put them up for sale.
They also apologised for the place being muddy and messed up due to the bad weather.
There was good reason for them to do so.
While the event saw a huge turn-up, a number things did not go well, according to some of the people that attended it.
First, after announcing a change of venue a few days to the show, there was uncertainty and speculation as some people thought the new venue would be too small for the crowd and indeed it was.
Meant to be a picnic, the event turned into a ‘kivulu’, as the large numbers of revelers overwhelmed the venue and management, according to the conversations on the Hashtag of the event.
As if that was not enough, the weather wasn’t a friend that day. The early downpour turned the grounds into a muddy garden, so the revelers couldn’t lay their picnic mats to sip their wine and cozy up in their blankets as it has been with the previous editions.
That, however, was for only those that managed to access the venue. At the entrance is where all the chaos began. For someone who had paid Shs100,000 to have a good time, it was a nightmare. It is said that some tickets were rejected because they had an expiry date, something that wasn’t communicated earlier. According to some of the revelers, it took them about three hours to get into the venue as the lines were too long and the people issuing the tickets were very few.
Those who couldn’t stand the hustle, gave up and went home. Those who managed to get in narrated their ordeals on social media.
Using her handle @Mishi254, one tweep narrated through a thread, how she nearly lost her life in what she termed as a stampede at the entrance.
“…people start screaming they notice me on the ground crying. I can’t breathe, I’m hyper ventilating, everything hurts. I just want to go home. This is not worth my life. a guard lifts me up and over the barrier and I find a corner( it’s right next to the gate),” reads one of the many tweets in the thread.
Similarly, a one @tndeka_mutebi tweeted, “Do the #BlanketsAndWineKla organizers know that we was just say 15 minutes away from an actual stampede!!!!!!!! If you’re expecting loads of people, how can your only entrance and exit be a ka small gate. It’s like they actually wanted a stampede to happen.”
She added, “I bet #BlanketsAndWineKla made loads of cash, but Ugandan event organisers ought to care for their clientele even after they’ve realized their full profits from the event!! Or else, what is left is for them is to come off as perfidious chaps, offering lackluster service!”
However, the early birds also shared their fantastic experiences. Here are some of the posts that people who had a good time shared.
Edward Nimusiima: “Blankets & Wine. I read people’s ordeals today and laughed. You guys are mud…rather, mad. A few days ago, I met people who pray from that venue every Tuesday. I’m told there’s a popular man of Ghad who has a gig there. Anyways, these people warned me. Mbu nti you guys will see. I actually had a good time. Maybe because I was there a little early (I mean, 4pm). So, kati nga I enter. There was a hectare of mud. I spent close to 30 minutes looking for a dry spot, but wah. Finally, I got a dry spot and just stood (not sat) there. So, as it clocked 6pm, at least 4 million people were inside. The parte went on. For some reason, almost everyone had white shoes. I walked around with my phone in one hand and my wallet in the other. I wasn’t going to lose any item again. It was a good kivulu…for those who came early, I think. Then this classic man came on stage and performed for approximately 5 seconds and left. Bambi, our money!”
Denis Galiwango: If Blankets and Wine can’t go to the Ghetto, the Ghetto should go to Blankets and Whine. This edition of Blankets and Wine. “Ghetto Edition” ? ???
Thank you Bobi Wine.
Peter La’Roche: parte after parte ? Well done Ugandan party people ???