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Four One One

What is really new at Blankets and Wine?

At the beginning of this year, an announcement was made that the House of DJs, a production house that has been hosting Blankets and Wine, was not organising another one. That was after organising more than 30 editions.

But then there was another communication that Blankets and Wine was coming back, all revamped. On Sunday, it went down at Lugogo Grounds, unlike the past editions, this did not have the buzz that usually follow the festivals. There was not a big Nigerian artiste headlining and much of the show was about the experience more than people thought to be on stage.

The organiser, Hafsa Umutoni had earlier noted that Blankets and Wine is a festival and it was something they hoped to remind the public. The focus was on the art, from the kind of artists curated to the way they were set up. This edition had more artists than all those that have been organised because of the two stage factor.

This year’s edition also avoided being a skimpy fashion show and people actually showed up with blankets and mats; talk about publicity attracting an audience. Probably it was the line up or the lack of influencers, the anticipation from the usual socialites was not there.

The audience was mainly ordinary music fans, who came out to have a good day with their families. Some of these were at the venue as early as midday, taking over the children’s play area.

What was new

Over the years, Blankets and Wine has been held at Kyadondo, Uganda Museum and Lugogo Cricket Oval. There was an edition that took place at Lugogo Grounds after rains destroyed the cricket oval, but that was it.

Most of the editions of the show took place at the cricket oval. The new venue is meant for the new form of Blankets and Wine. It is wide enough for a food court, children’s play area, photo area, bars, crafts market and above it all, two stages.

The two stages were some of the craziest things that ware introduced; one of the stages, the Onja Onja stage, is adopted from the Nairobi edition of the festival.

It is a DJ’s stage, which was carefully placed near the food court and mostly active during breaks of the mainstage.

This stage had DJs such as Decay, Gaba Cannal, AO the Walker, Crazy Mind, DJ Vanss and Binghi. The Onja Onja stage was curated by Nyege Nyege Festival and for most of the time, it felt like one of the famous stages such as Boiler Room and Dark Star. Since the stage was near the food court, it was never empty, even during performances of acts such as Nameless and Eddy Kenzo.

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