Art

After a false start, Bots fans have a date with Ocean

n Bakang Mhaladi Gaborone – There was an air of despondency when the Billy Ocean Gaborone show was cancelled at the 11th hour last month. Ocean was meant to headline the annual Hamptons Jazz Festival at the Duma FM grounds on March 24. However, the organisers postponed the show just two days before the event, citing permit challenges. The organisers had initially been given a permit to run the show from 10h00 on Saturday to Sunday 06h00. However, the hours were reduced to between 10h00 to midnight on Saturday, before further alterations were made, which would have seen the show run from 14h00 to midnight. The Gaborone City Council did not give reasons for the alterations, but residents within the vicinity of the venue had lodged a complaint about noise and traffic inconvenience after what was witnessed at the 2017 show. The organisers, the Hamptons, then decided to postpone the show at the last minute. With the permit hitch now resolved, the show will stretch over two days, Saturday and Sunday, meaning longer hours for the artists to perform. “The Hamptons management has obtained the ‘Noise and Nuisance Permit’ from the Gaborone City Council,” the organisers announced on Tuesday. There is a long list of performers, who include Ocean and Salif Keita, who will share the stage with South African and local acts. No less than 16 artists are billed to perform. Eyes will be on yesteryear R & B star, Ocean, who thrilled the world in the 1980s with smash hits such as ‘Caribbean Queen’ and the ‘Colour of Love’. However, he is no longer young, and now 68, grey-haired and pitted against younger and energetic performers, Ocean would be expected to bring his A-game. Fans will also be able to see home-grown talent, as there is a long line up of local acts, which includes jazz maestro Soccer Maruakgomo, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Shati Lo, Thabang Garogwe and veteran Ika-jazz artist, Ndingo Johwa. Although it is a show targeting the mature and discerning revellers, the organizers did not want to leave out Botswana’s crowd puller, ATI, who has made the list. Ticket sales have been slow compared to last year, with organisers still urging fans to buy on Tuesday, as the ‘sold out’ sign is yet to come out. Ocean and Keita were expected in Botswana on Friday, with the UK-based artist confirming, through his Facebook page, that he will be performing in Gaborone on Saturday. ...Read More

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