Lake of Stars beckons in Malawi

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Jonathan Mbiriyamveka

The Lake of Stars Festival returns this year after a year’s hiatus marking the 15th-anniversary celebrations.   

The three-day extravaganza will take place at a new location in Leopards Bay, Lifuwa Salima.

The festival, which was recently voted one of the World’s Best in the Fest300 Awards, runs from September 28 to 30 at the newly constructed, Malawi-owned, Kabumba Hotel resort, situated at the foot of Senga Hills in Salima.

“I’m delighted to be returning to the central region and working with a new venue partner in 2018. Lake of Stars is known for breaking new ground in Malawi. So, it’s fitting that for our 15th-anniversary celebrations we are offering our loyal audience something new and exciting.

“When I started the festival, I always planned for it to move around the country so that different areas of Malawi could benefit from the boost in tourism, social outreach and economic benefits that the festival brings.

“We are excited to celebrate our special anniversary at Kabumba Hotel, a stunning new site with over a kilometre of beachfront, a tranquil wooded hillside and excellent facilities. It’s also only around 125km from Lilongwe, making it accessible for people from all around the country and international visitors to come and celebrate with us,” Lake of Stars director, Will Jameson, said in a statement on the festival’s website.

Festival-goers should expect an exciting programme of local and international music and arts, set on a wide expanse of rolling golden sands backed by a lush tree-covered hillside.

Among the performers will be Kim of Diamonds, currently the hottest female artist who will be making her debut at Lake of Stars.

Kim of Diamonds will be joined by Madalitso Band who impressed crowds at Tanzania’s Sauti Za Busura festival in 2017; George Kalukusha, who recently returned to Malawi after a stint honing his musical craft in South Africa; and the Forus Dance Crew who have been wowing audiences with their jaw-dropping routines.

Alongside these will be Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit, backed by a five-piece indie rock sounds, and poetry from charismatic Scottish wordsmith Michael Pedersen.

In line with Lake of Stars’ strong tradition of engaging with the community within which it operates, an outreach programme will be launched again this year, working closely with the owner of Kabumba Hotel, Ephraim Mganda Chiume, and local community leaders.

Past outreach successes have included hosting a day of ideas to inspire and motivate local school pupils, organising community sports matches, staging free concerts for the local village, recycling wood from the festival into school desks and benches and donating mattresses and sheets to                                                         KCH.

Over the last 15 years, Lake of Stars has brought a unique blend of local and international talent to all three regions of Malawi, helping to boost tourism across the country and generating revenue for the economy.

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