Gidi Fest Rolls Out Plans for Sixth Edition

Dr.Sid, Denrele at past edition of Gidi Fest

Vanessa Obioha

The music, culture and arts festival is taking things a notch higher for its sixth edition. At a press briefing to announce the plans for this year’s event, the organisers Eclipse Live rolled out some few changes. First, the event now has a new venue; Landmark Beachfront, Landmark Towers, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Eko Atlantic City have been home to the festival in past editions until last year when it moved base to Hard Rock Cafe beachfront. However, Chin Okeke, one of the founders of the festival pointed out that the change in venue was necessary to accommodate it’s teeming audience.

The festival recorded over 812 visitors from outside Lagos at last year’s edition. This year, Okeke is optimistic that the number of visitors will be 1,000, with an overall expectation of 10,000 attendees. Having been recognised as a promoter of tourism in the state by the Lagos State government which added the event to its cultural calendar, the organisers expressed confidence that through its ‘mygidi’ project — which captured six tourists exploring the music, arts, food and culture of the state — that the festival will achieve its target.

“The Gidi Tribe reaches beyond the shores of Nigeria, from Africans to diaspora in Europe, Caribbean and American with African heritage.
We want to promote Lagos as a destination and expose the stories that captivate music fans and explorers from everywhere. #mygidi is a journey into the Lagos experience.”

Another addition to this year’s event is the promotion of a cashless festival. Though it is not the first time the organisers are embarking on such, however, their new partner Barter has proven its capability to achieve this goal. Okeke explained that the cashless initiative will reduce cash theft as attendees can make purchases through the mobile app with or without internet connection.

Known as a progression of urban youth culture through music, arts, food and games, this year’s edition while retaining its elements will also see the infusion of other activities to create a lasting experience. One of such is the collaboration between the organisers and Echo Music and Arts Foundation that will see the birth of two landmark events in April: Lagos Music Week (LMW) and The ECHO Music Conference (EMC). The former is a seven-day social calendar that brings together a wide variety of musical and cultural activities in the week leading up to Easter.

The variety of events from live music concerts, conferences, nightlife and exhibitions, will promote Lagos as the centre of the African music movement. EMC on the other hand will be the ultimate event for budding music professionals aged 21-35 and the first of its kind. This one-day event offers talks and masterclasses from industry professionals and the biggest artists.

Still on music, the headliners for this edition include Niniola, Patoranking, Wande Coal, Moonchild Sanelly, DJ Neptune and Teni the Entertainer. For its Next Gen performers, artistes like Dami Oniru, Tems will be on stage.

“We are excited by the sheer diversity of the acts we’re announcing this year, it’s going to be a hell of a show. 2019 will see a return to our roots of promoting the future of African music, whilst many returning acts who have grown in leaps and bounds since the last time they graced the Gidi Fest stage.”

The Streets to Gidi initiative will also be featured as soccer competition and arts from young talents will be showcased at the festival. There will also be a runway show as well as a good court displaying the best of Nigerian cuisine.

Held every Easter holiday, this year Gidi Culture Festival is slated for April 20.