There is no doubt the Upper West Music and cultural festival organized by Upper West Pride Record and sponsored by Jamaica Youth group was a fantastic idea.
The activity was set for the National Theatre in Accra with a gate fee of Ghc30. Jamaica Youth made buses available to convey interested people at a subsidized cost of Ghc50.00 which includes ticket and vehicle fare to and fro. Several artistes were billed to perform not excluding Raphius, Gally, Stunner, Black Rasta, Samini et al.
Some critical issues really affected the activity before within and after the event.
1. Improper Planning:
The event was billed for 30th of March which saw the likes of samini disappointing with news of their absence, the absence of Samini was a big blow to the event because people expected him and later when they discovered he won’t be available, they thought it was only a prank to hype the event. Samini proposed a reschedule of date in order to be present but the organizers went on without him. Wiyaala was also contacted to perform but she turned down the offer for special reasons known to her.
2. Division in the Music Industry: We won’t repeat this anymore but the more the division and arrogance the worse the industry will keep falling. United we stand divided we fall they say. Some young upcoming artistes has become so arrogant in the music scene of upper west without getting to the latter, being arrogant won’t lift you also songs of insults have done musicians worse than good. Playing diss tracks to portray intelligence or insult won’t make you great, they only make you look irresponsible in the eyes of people who thought of sponsoring your music by making them think you have nothing to offer except offensive lyrics. Finally being an elder and a mature person in the industry should give you the opportunity and wisdom to lead and unite upcoming musicians and not to be selective. Don’t mingle with upcoming figures, don’t try to compete with them for awards and positions, they end up disrespecting you, learn when to fight for power and when to stop.
3. Disregarding the Media in Important Events: When a program is to take place, the first thing to do is to involve prominent media houses relating to the tittle of the event, you’ve organized an upper western event and not even a single media house in upper west is talking of the event, how important it is and how it can project the region. Other external media houses have no patronage of upper Westerners so when you go there few days to the event to talk of the event, you only end up communicating with strangers who have no interest in an event which has nothing to do with their region.
We saw what happened when the Ghana Media Awards was to take place, we heard of it on TV, Radio frequently and read of it on websites including Ghanaweb frequently. Why was that done, to involve more people, to market the event, to elevate the event to a standard. Don’t be surprised that no media house followed the event till the end even after the event no one is discussing it. Who should engage people to discuss it? This should have been live on some northern TV stations like NTV to market our brand, when there is a program like VGMA, Ghana DJ Awards etc we watch it on TV. And it gets marketed.To finalize, I urge us to always share news, videos and events of upper west when we see them, that is what will empower us.. You don’t know who will see it and help us(think of the ICT teacher who was spotted and sponsored through social media).
4. Unethical Behaviors: What we saw in some few videos were very shameful, we saw people parking and picking monies on the ground during performance, we also saw people crowding the stage, making it disorganized, logically people shouldn’t just run around the stage destructing stage craft although there was none. The picking of money during performance was shameful we should also ensure people don’t just run up stage anyhow, we don’t know the enemies of the performing act someone can just do something harmful to him in the performance process, let’s not forget stonebwoy and his wife so early, the knife brouhaha.
5. Stage craft was poor, we didn’t see anything extraordinary in the performances, no dancers no acts of suspense, we saw nothing new and could predict all what would happen, that makes the event laborious. To end it we advise our artistes to take the costumes seriously, wearing a sport attire for a stage performance was totally out of place, it was a national event to market our acts so costumes should always be looked at seriously.
This observation is to prepare us for future events and not to demoralize any organizer or musician.
By: Tuorimuo Elvis Philip