IRRESISTIBLE: It is post-Nyege Nyege Friday and for ardent festival goers, things were seen and analysed. Truth be told, the original Nyege vibe is gone and with the change of venues and trends, it looks like the festival might lose the old audience but find a new crowd, as Andrew Kaggwa reviews.
We shall not dare to retell the story of the Nyege Nyege International Music Festival. It was a passion project by expats Arlen Dilsizian and Derek Debru in 2013. But the festival did not start then; the two would throw parties in unorthodox places such as gardens, garages, and at times Tilapia, a then famous bar on Ggaba Road.
Like that, they had given birth to a Ugandan version of a rave. Nyege Nyege parties were wild, the music was different, and the party never stopped until the next day.
The energy and enthusiasm of the attendees were contagious, drawing in a diverse crowd of locals and foreigners alike. However, even when word spread about these unforgettable parties, the duo did not immediately jump on an opportunity to start a festival.
The festival is said to have taken shape when an opportunity presented itself. Many foreign artistes were going to be in Uganda for workshops and the team thought, instead of having them around doing only workshops, why not organise a festival?
Over the years, the festival has successfully carved out a niche as a place where outsiders’ music thrives. From electronic music subgenres to ethno music and now mainstream, the festival has seen it all.
When the first edition kicked off on October 16, 2015, it was held at a less known Nile Discovery Resort. The abandoned resort had most of its structures abandoned, visible burnt bricks and a few toilets. It was, however, a green park of sorts, with many flowers and grass.
Just like that, the festival had a home.
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