CITY of Kigali’s decision to cut abruptly the long anticipated ‘Love Drunk Party’ featuring Nigerian artiste Ycee that was scheduled for March 19 at Villa Portofino Hotel in Kigali has triggered mixed reactions from different artistes, organisers and music lovers who are now calling for justice.
It started at 19:15pm with Soldier Kid and some other artistes and as revellers enjoyed the show, at 10:30pm, without any notice, the music was stopped, leaving everyone at the venue confused.
Gilbert Muhaturukundo, CEO of Evolve Music Group, said that the concert was cancelled by Merard Mpabwanamaguru, the vice mayor in charge of urbanisation and infrastructure in the City of Kigali, without any alert given to the organisers.
“Prior to the event, we wrote some letters asking for permission to carry out a concert and we got the go-ahead which was signed by the Vice Mayor, and the very same person is the one who came and unplugged the sound systems claiming that the event was making noise which he personally was not comfortable with,” said Muhaturukundo.
Stopping the show is said to have come after some headliners started performing, a move that City of Kigali said was caused by failure to moderate sound in a residential area.
Both Evolve Music and Trappish Music, organisers of the event, had all the clearance from Rwanda Convention Bureau and City of Kigali, according to a statement they released on Sunday, March 20.
One of the organisers and headliners of the show, Ish Kevin, told this publication that the concert was stopped before Police arrived at the scene.
He said that there wasn’t any instrument used to measure sound pressure, like a decibel meter, which is used to assess noise or sound levels.
About the issue of time management, Ish Kevin also clarified with evidence that they had permission to run the event till 1:30am.
“We have spent over Rwf20 million to make this happen and it was stopped without cause. If there is any proof that we didn’t moderate the sound, the City of Kigali can provide it,” he says.
When asked what they plan to do in light of their loss, the organisers said that they plan on consulting the courts as they are currently under the process of filing a case.
Renowned rapper Kivumbi King also said something similar on social media.
“The people that work for @CityofKigali are the reason why young capable Rwandans want to go to Europe and America and not come back, we give our all and in return we get this, these are our lives you are playing with, our LIVES,” read his tweet.
Fast-rising-artiste Mike Kayihura also questioned the decision of cancelling the concert, noting that it can make young artistes who are trying their best to make a living lose motivation and the winning spirit.
“How do the artistes create spaces for themselves and different ways to ‘eat’ or stay inspired, and they are shut down because of noise? Or a neighbour isn’t happy? What is the message exactly? That kills loads of energy put in collaboration,” Kayihura said on Twitter.
“Good evening @merardmp, instead of blessing our youngsters’ hustles you’re just putting them under scandalous loss. Let our youth work for their living and create room for them to live their dreams,” read a tweet by Jean de Dieu Akayezu.
Luckyman Nzeyimana, a showbiz journalist, also highlighted that the move to cancel the concert was bad. “Not happy about this action!! If you can’t support them, who else will support them!!! And after you need them for some campaign?? Not happy at all!! Peace up!”
Through his social media platforms, Ycee, the renowned Nigerian rapper who was the main guest of the event, apologised to his fans saying that hopefully justice will be served.