Organisers of the popular annual music festival, Gaborone International Music and Culture (GIMC) are placing their bet to probably host the event either in November or December this year.
The week-long festival was initially schedule for the 28th of August until the 5th of September 2020 and organisers say they are still committed to hosting the event this year as long as it will be safe and possible to do so. “We will most likely host the festival either in November or December provided it will by then be safe to host public events,” GIMC Founder Thapelo 'Fish' Pabalinga told The Patriot Lifestyle.
Pabalinga has once again assured that they intend not to cancel this year’s festival hoping that it will be possible to host it in 2020. Many other music festivals that were also billed for this year have since been shelved indefinitely while others their organisers have resorted to postpone them to later next year. But Pabalinga says they intend not to do the same because cancelling GIMC will badly affect many who annually benefit from the festival such as artists and SMMEs. The events management guru highlighted that they in a year they probably spent around P1.4 million on artists performing at the festival.
“Because GIMC is such a big player in the entertainment industry and it covers almost every genre within the performing art space, we are really committed to hosting it so that we can support those who benefits from its value chain,” Pabalinga noted.
He stressed that should GIMC not take place this year it is the festival’s annual beneficiaries not its organisers who will lose big. “The value chain of GIMC is so big, every time we host the event we pay hotels around P400 000, Air Botswana around P200 000 and around P500 000 goes to Security Companies,” Pabalinga highlighted.
Should the festival happen this year Pabalinga indicated that chances are that they may end up also deciding to localise the event and not feature international artists who will be mostly coming from countries with high prevalence of covid-19. According to him, they are happy to host the festival just as a purely local show. “We are not necessarily who we are because of the artists we bring but it is the experience that people like in GIMC,” he said. This means that international artists such as DJ Maphorisa, eMtee and Kabza De Small among other international acts who were eyed to perform at this year’s festival may miss the opportunity do so.
Meanwhile Pabalinga is complaining that while other industries have since been opened the entertainment industry is probably the only one which still remain shutdown since lockdown. He has since appealed for government to also consider gradually opening the entertainment industry decrying that the amount of suffering that continue to be experienced by its members are immense.
Pabalinga who recently had a cordial meeting with the Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Buti Billy to discuss solutions that could possibly benefit the entertainment industry said he is hopeful that there will be progress out of that meeting.