By Mohalenyane Phakela
MASERU — One of Lesotho’s most sought-after summer festivals, Maqalika Beach Party, did not live up to its tradition of pulling large crowds.
The third annual Maseru Beach Party which usually takes place on Maqalika shores the first Saturday of December since 2011 was not successful.
The festival has been known for the massive turnout and notorious traffic jams it causes as everybody has always wanted to be part of it in its previous two versions.
Whenever there was a beach party, cars would take roughly two hours or more just to get parking space at the show.
Surprisingly, this time around it could take one just a few minutes from Lakeside robots to the event without much ado.
That says it all about the number of people who actually showed up at the event. It was a complete flop!
Some of the questions that continue to linger among party fanatics are: Was the event not well marketed? Did something bad happen that killed the fans spirits? Are people broke or did Bad Boy T’s death leave a huge gap in the organising committee?
If you were a first timer at the party and had never heard about its raving stories, you would say its one of the best outdoor festivals the country has ever seen.
The setting was good with quality sound, security was tight and there was even a bigger space as water had dried up on the dam’s shores.
The general outlook was perfect except that people did not show up as they normally do. The poor attendance could also have been caused by the lack of an international artiste to pull the crowds. It could also be attributable to the hike in the entrance fee from M30 to M70; though such an increase does not normally deter seasoned party animals.
The Weekender caught up with one of the organisers, DJ Kopper, to find out the real reasons behind the failure of their usual hordes of fans to show up.
Speaking frankly, he said: “This year’s version of the bash was partially in commemoration of the late Bad Boy T but his family believed that his name was used unfairly to promote our show, thus, making money out of their loss.
“They then took us to court to stop the whole show.
“This somehow lowered our spirits as we believe he deserved a tribute.
“We ended up investing too much of our attention in the court case and focused less on creating hype for the show.
“Besides, rumours were already flooding the streets of Maseru about the show not taking place at all.
“We believe that is why fewer people showed up.
“Although we did win the case, we did not have enough time to prepare thoroughly, which is why we started later than the time we had told people we would start.
“The beach party was set to roar into action at 10am but the few who turned up earlier found the place quieter than a church and that killed their spirits. It only started late in the afternoon.
“The acts of the day did all in their power to give the crowds the best they could offer to make sure that they were entertained.”
Speaking to the Weekender, Big Potato’s DJ Sohcah said the festival was not that bad.
“The show was not as big as the previous ones but then I believe everyone had a good time.
“People responded positively to the music we offered and I had a good time.”
The line-up was designed to cater for different music tastes.