Kampala. The National Theatre, the country’s nerve-centre for the arts, has suspended more than 30 events, including the World Theatre Day festival in the wake of government suspension of all public gatherings over the coronavirus.
Similarly, city events promoter Balaam Barugahare has called off several events, including the All-stars Africa-French Legends match that had been scheduled for March 22, at Namboole stadium near Kampala.
He said his highly anticipated concert at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel on March 28, featuring world’s best French Live Band Kassav and Vegedream, has also been called off.
President Museveni on Wednesday put the country on a partial lockdown for 32 days, stopping all crowd events, including church services, weddings, music and art events.
Mr Barugahare said he had spent nearly Shs500m in venues, adverts and other logistics. He said another date for the match and live band performances will be announced once the coronavirus pandemic is contained.
The president of Events Promoters and Organisers Association in Uganda, Mr Abbey Musinguzi, alias Abtex, said many people are going to be kicked out of business given the huge loses they have been exposed to following the ban.
He said nearly Shs1b has been lost in only two events, namely the Eddy Kenzo festival and the Purple Party, which had been planned across the country.
“Eddy Kenzo Festival had projected good returns of up to Shs500m and so did Purple Party, which had scheduled shows across the country,” Mr Musinguzi said.
“Too much money had been spent in adverts, venues, sound systems, and sadly, such money is never refundable, but we can’t risk people’s lives by pressing the government to allow the shows,” he added.
Some of the affected major events
Eddy Kenzo Festival.
The event was set for March 28 at Kololo Independence Grounds.
Tugende Mukikadde. The event, which had been scheduled for April 4, at Kampala Serena Hotel, was pushed to June 6.
Voltage Music Live In Concert
Kent and Flosso of Voltage Music maiden concert was set for April 10 at UMA hall, Lugogo, Kampala.
Kabaka’s Birthday Run.
The annual run, which was set for April 5, was postponed to an unknown date.
Others. Other upcoming events that have been affected include Vine Awards set for March 17, the Kampala Food Festival, and The Hymn Experience, set for April 10, and Five Stars Madness at Kampala Serena Hotel, among other events.