The last time Jamaican dancehall king Beenie Man performed in Uganda was in 2009 at Kyadondo rugby grounds.
On Friday, November 11, he was at Lugogo cricket oval for ‘The Big Show’, which left revellers with mixed feelings. The show featured local stars including Winnie Nwagi, Vinka, Azawi, Grendea and Zex Bilangilangi. Nigeria’s Oxlade, South Africa’s Focalistic, Mellow and Sleazy did not show up despite being lined up.
I have attended many lifestyle events with international acts this year, but I must say The Big Show was my disappointment of the year. Top Boy Entertainment brought Beenie Man to Uganda but it looked like they lacked ideas on how to host a show of such magnitude.
Top Boy Entertainment depended on influencers to bring the numbers to Lugogo Cricket Oval, completely ignoring other media, and that cost them dearly. The event was very poorly organized. At the entrance, despite gates opening at 4 pm,
tickets and media passes came at 7 pm; organizers told revellers that their tickets were out of use, yet they issued them out. They had to pay again.
Because of the glitches in organization, the numbers were also poor. To compound the organisers’ misery, the Nigerian and South African musicians also refused to turn up because they reportedly were not fully paid; so, they stayed in their hotel rooms.
Beenie Man had initially also refused to show up due to unpaid fees balance, while at the venue, Fenon Records, who set up the stage switched off everything for more than four hours waiting to be cleared to zero balance.
Credit should be given to Beenie Man and local musicians that eventually performed for the sake of their waiting fans.
Performances kicked off at 9:50 pm with Grenade followed by Azawi. Regardless of the poor attendance, Beenie Man and the Ugandans put up a great show.
Vinka and Azawi stood out with great stage performances. The two have really mastered their craft and stage presence.
At 10:25 pm Winnie Nwagi came on stage. She came on stage dressed in red shorts, clearly knowing that her body excites her fans just as much as her voice.
She performed most of her songs and was easily the main act of the night together with Beenie Man. At 11 pm, Beenie Man came on stage. Dressed in black with a blue jacket, he opened his set with Let’s Go To The Beach and then performed most of his oldies including Rum and Red Bull, Girl DEM Sugar, Rome, Badda Dan, Slam, I’m Drinking, among others