Friday, January 1, 2016

My top five events of 2015: Fortyfied, OLIC, Rhythm Unplugged, Hennessy Artistry & AFRIMA

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As we look back on 2015, I can honestly say it was one year when really cool events happened. I know, because I attended almost all of them. Lagosians can party, and we party hard when the traffic allows us to.
Here, I share my top 5 events of 2015, even as I look forward to better events in the new year (by better I mean events with top notch production/execution and “accurate time-keeping”, among others).
Fifth on the list but definitely not the least, as the popular saying goes, is the TufaceFortyfied Concert which held on September 20th at the Eko Hotel and Suites. The star-studded event was a tribute to legendary singer, Tuface Idbia on his 40th birthday.
tuface and annie 3
Almost derailed by a late start, it was a warm evening, even in retrospect. As I said in my review of the event, “I like how that the execution and programme flow was flawless. It was very warm, the way the performances moved from Tuface’s compositions- tweaked and rendered in different genres submerged with songs by other artistes. It was good to have an event where the sound did not go bad, where the laughter did not cease. If there was a spell, Tuface’s personality cast it on us and we could not care less.”
Rhythm Unplugged
Rhythm Unplugged follows closely in fourth place. Featuring RnB act Treysongz,
Wizkid, Davido, Olamide and a host of others, this show lived up to its billing despite many challenges, two of which were a late start and epileptic sound quality at some points. You can read all about the event here and though it earns a place on this list, I still think that we need to consciously keep working on the quality of our event production in Nigeria.
Hennesy Artistry (RnB) remains close to my heart in the third place. I had fun at that event, produced by the legendary Cobhams Asuquo and hosted by Dare Art Alade at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The quality of art on display was impeccable. There was absolutely no lip synching, and the vocals created a cozy, intimate RnB atmosphere that silhouetted the performances. I also loved the tempo, the way it picked up from a start that had me wondering if Nigerians were too restless for RnB.
It was an event well produced, without the flaws that characterise the average live show in Nigeria. Even the smallest microphone did not go off for a minute, nor did the speakers screech in frustration. There was no power outage, no breakdown whatsoever. It was all well blended, reflective of a deliberate and well-thought-out process. You can read my review here.
The second edition of the Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) held on Sunday November 15th at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. This event does deserve applause for strictly keeping to time. By 12:00 AM, it was a wrap and people could go back home and be at work the next day without feeling guilty that they made out time for fun. As I said in my review, “other organisers should learn what the secret for the AFRIMA 2015 early start is, because clearly, it worked!”
olamide OLIC
Olamide Live in Concert 2
This was arguably the biggest and best attended show of 2015. Eko Hotel was filled to the brim, packed like I had never seen it before. It was a well scripted and executed event. Except for a late start and rowdiness in the hall, this is the event template and quality organisers and artistes must match in 2016! Read my review here.
2015 was a good year, no doubts. But as we resolve to be better people, I hope that the resolutions affect our resolve to organise better events in 2016 and take this industry a notch higher. We need to produce better, attention needs to be paid to logistics and very importantly, timing!
I wish us all an “eventful” 2016!