By Lerato Matheka
MASERU — Over 3 500 revellers flocked to Setsoto Stadium for the first annual Lesotho All Weekend Summer Festival on Saturday.
Although the turnout was nowhere near the 15 000 expected by the organisers, the night will go down as one of the best on the local entertainment scene.
South African hip-hop group Jozi drove female fans into a delirium when they hopped onto the stage.
When the duo blazed their hit song What’s With The Attitude all hell broke loose and the fans even breached the barrier tape around the stage.
Security guards had a terrible task trying to restrain the crowd and it looked like the show would be called off when beer bottles started flying from the crowd.
Order only started to return when DJ Cleo’s Aaaiiiyyy! was belted.
That’s when Jozi only returned to the stage for an impressive performance.
Just like the pre-party on the eve of the festival, Saturday’s event started very late.
Action was supposed to start at 11am but by 7pm the organisers were still running around trying to put up the stage and the sound system.
“The stage needs to be set at least six hours before the show and we had initially planned to set it up the day before the show until we were delayed at the Maseru Bridge border post,” Teboho Tlokotsi, one of the organisers, told the Weekender.
He said they had hoped to sell at least 15 000 tickets for the all-night gig but the actual turnout was far less.
Dozens others chose to mill outside the venue, enjoying beer and dancing to music blurring from parked cars.
Despite that disappointment, the performances on stage were simply outstanding.
The night saw South African hip-hop newcomers Kesi raising the curtain for the big names who included Jozi, Mr Selwyn, HHP, Stoan and Speedy and Alaska.
Mr Selwyn, performing in Lesotho for the first time, was impressed with the response he got from the revellers.
“I performed songs from my previous album including Shake and I was surprised to hear people singing along,” he told the Weekender.
“Now I know I have a fan base in Lesotho and I would really like to return for the next festival.”
Isaac Masia of Masiatlokotsi Events, the company that organised the gig, said they were planning to hold a series of smaller events throughout next year to build momentum for the next festival.
“Although we didn’t sell the 15 000 tickets that we had hoped to, we are not losing hope,” he said.
“In fact, next year the festival is going to be more powerful than this year because we will have looked at all the negative aspects.”
“This is a brand that needs to be built and we are going to do exactly that,” he added.
“Today we have left a mark and we hope people will be looking forward to the second leg of the festival next year.”