By Gabriel Buule
To happen or not to happen, that has been the talk surrounding Uganda’s top arts festival dubbed Nyege Nyege. However, with all clearances done and guidance set in place, the festival finally opened doors on Thursday, September 15 at Itanda falls in Jinja.
Just like any other festival where business was slow on day one with a massively deployed security monitoring the situation and revellers enduring the greasy weather to take positions as they wait for the party to start.
Serious business was visible in camping areas, parking, and performance stages where technicians were setting up earlier in the day. A couple of revellers who arrived on Thursday took to nature walks and others kept inside tents to stay away from drizzles.
Later in the day, the party began at Hakuna Kulara stage where free-spirited performances, Dejaaying took place as revellers took to dance and drinking.
Unlike the previous venue which was relatively small, the seventh edition of Nyege Nyege is at a huge venue on the banks of the Nile river, at Itanda Falls, a venue believed to be five times larger than the previous home. Some revellers were seen taking photos at the source of the Nile, while the rest preferred other activities.
With focus mainly on electronic music from African musicians alongside sounds from the global diaspora, the festival is set to give space to a total of 300 artistes who will play from seven different stages.
There is also an enormous showcase of visual arts and a range of activities available, including bungee jumping, sunset cruises, and rafting. According to organisers, there will be a sustainable practice where revellers will plant bamboo trees as a way of conserving the environment and offsetting carbon emissions in future.