The last two weekends have been a nightmare as far as two sets of artists are concerned. Kamichi and Urban Boyz will surely want to quickly forget what befell them during their respective album launches.
First it was Kamichi, who got the surprise package at Kigali Serena Hotel at his album launch Mudakumirwa. Watching the empty seats and how the hall was reluctantly and sluggishly filling up must have sent a cold shiver down his spine.
It’s no wonder after the show he somewhat melted into thin air, refusing to speak to the press.
Then it was Urban Boyz’ turn to taste the bitter truth. Prior to their launch, the Swagga Boys, as they are colloquially known, were known to throw concerts that were well organized, exquisitely orchestrated and near to perfection.
So come Friday 13th December, by 4pm Petit Stade seats were still half empty and calling on them. It was therefore easy to tell the three were nervously sweating in anxiety.
Such scenes have become something of a norm. Endless efforts and enormous budgets are drawn in dire preparations of concerts only for a handful of fans to attend them. But what exactly has gone wrong? Why is it that fans are increasingly shunning away these concerts, yet, it’s only a few years ago that they would pack the venues to full capacity?
A section of fans that rwandashow.com talked to highlighted many issues, but below are some of the common answers they gave.
This was the main concern, with many suggesting there are no new stuff in today’s concerts. I couldn’t agree anymore. With a few exceptions such as Mani Martin, our artists take us for a ride. There’s nothing new and exciting to watch apart from the same old faces that grace every album launch.
High ticket prices
Yet another area of great concern, artists have failed to address this aspect. Ticket prices of Rwf5, 000 and Rwf10, 000 are way too exorbitant for the public to afford.
Throw in the fact the festive season is approaching, and the truth will only sink in deeper. It makes perfect sense that a lot of funds are injected in the preparations, but expecting to milk that money of out the fans’ pockets will not happen unless there is something extra, extra ordinary that will prompt the fans to buy the tickets.
It’s not explicable how an album launch that will kick off at 6pm is taken on the outskirts of the city, yet numerous halls are readily available right in the heart of Kigali. Given their extended delays and the late hours that they end, how do they expect people to travel back to city?
You simply can’t charge rocket-high ticket prices if you can’t bring a show to the doorsteps of the same people you charged for attending.
It’s always a milestone to compile as many as a dozen songs in one album, and such efforts should not go unrewarded – not at all. If our artists really want to appease their fans, then it’s a high time they got back to the drawing board and injected in their concerts something out of the ordinary to regain a fan base that is quickly losing patience and opting for imported and Western music instead.