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Events

Political climate delays Blankets and Wine festival in Nairobi

Fans dance during Blankets and Wine at Water Front Gardens – Jockey Club, Race Course. PHOTO | FRANSOIR NDERITU

The July edition of the popular East African Blankets and Wine Festival has been postponed due to fears of the current security situation in Kenya.

The event, which was due to take place on Sunday July 7, has now been postponed to July 28, due to the current political situation in the country, according to the organisers.

In a statement last Thursday, the organisers said that there was no security clearance to allow them to proceed with the planned event.

“Folks, it is with a heavy heart that we are rescheduling Blankets & Wine from 7 July 2024 to 28 July 2024. It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that, after extensive consultation, we do not have the necessary security clearance to proceed with Blankets and Wine this coming Sunday,” read part of the statement.

“Due to the politically charged nature of 7th July, there is a potential significant threat to life and property including but not limited to road closures, flash protests, infiltration after dusk, among others.”

According to the team, safety was paramount for everyone involved, including fans, vendors, suppliers, and partners.

“On this solid Intel, we have made the unprecedented decision to reschedule this upcoming edition of Blankets & Wine to 28th July 2024,” it said.

It apologised for the inconvenience adding, “We know how much you have looked forward to this event, as have we, and we are committed to bringing it to you when it’s safe for everyone.”

For the fans who had already purchased their tickets, the planners gave a detailed breakdown, stating that the tickets would still be valid for future concerts planned for later in the year.

“All tickets purchased are valid for 28 July 2024. However, if you cannot make it, you can transfer your tickets to either 6th October 2024 or 22nd December 2024 (Nairobi) or 29th September or 15th December (Kampala) by contacting us via DM or email,” they said.

The country has witnessed a wave of protests across the country over the past three weeks due to the modus operandi of the Gen Zs.

They were the initiators of the nationwide demonstrations against the controversial Finance Bill 2024, which has since been dropped.

Blankets and Wine is considered East Africa’s premium music festival and has changed venues six times in its 15-year history.

Festival guru Muthoni Ndonga, popularly known as Muthoni Drummer Queen (MDQ), moved the festivals to a new venue at Laueate Garden in Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani in late 2022, saying it was the only one in Nairobi that could handle what she had in store for her fans.

“With big plans to grow Blankets and Wine into the Coachella of East Africa, Muthoni said she needed more space. Kasarani is also the only venue of its size in Nairobi with world-class facility such as a dedicated police station, perimeter fence, an access road and ample parking,” she said back then.

After a hiatus in 2020 following the outbreak of Covid-19, the event returned in person in 2022 with the Kenyan Summer 2 edition, headlined by Nigerian artist CKay alongside Kenyan artists Savara, Wakadinali and The Only Rosa.

Over the years, Blankets and Wine has established itself as one of the most popular live music experiences in Kenya, combining music, food, craft and fashion to create an event that delights and uplifts.

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