Last Saturday was a harmonious day and a true blessing to see the University of Botswana (UB) Indoor Sports Arena packed to its rafters for the first time since it first opened doors in 2016, all thanks to the Life Changing Concert. The multi-million arena has previously hosted the Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) famed by Dinaletsana but it was never filled to capacity despite all the roaring support from the compatriots in the international netball tourney.
However, this past weekend – a day of reckoning truly beckoned courtesy of Braveheart under the guidance of one Joseph Manuel – when the company staged and hosted the multi award winning gospel movement dubbed MTN Joyous Celebration to Gaborone. The gospel music festivity aptly tagged The Life Changing Concert was truly amazing, spirit-lifting and overall enthralling. Botswana fans will also be happy to learn that both Joyous Celebration and Manuel have signed a 5-year agreement to have the group performing in Botswana on the same date for the next four years. The group spent a whole 5hrs 30 minutes led by Lindani Mkhize. Judging from their energy on stage – from start to finish, this group truly knows how to tease and please.
At the end of the night and judging from all the positive reviews from music custodians of different cultures, genre, race and influence easily places the Life Changing Concert as one of the best locally produced shows in many fronts. Being a truly invigorating Gospel show with zero drama proved beyond reasonable doubt that our local expertise has reached maturity and can truly compete with the best of the best around the world.
The organizers of The Life Changing Concert left all its supporters jovial thanks to how they executed the show and have firmly imprinted themselves in everyone’s mind – an everlasting experience and true to the captain’s idea, Manuel who kept saying everyone’s life will never be the same again after attending the show. #BotswanaUnplugged’s Moagi Madisa looks at a few required international standards which any big show should observe and provide…
Ticketing and lettering
OMG! Many were shocked when letters determined which gate and seat to use especially in the VIP sections. Some people had come in pairs but got the shock of their lives when they were separated at the show. According to the organizers, this measure came in handy in finding fake tickets and in case of emergency, people may use different gates to escape. Furthermore, it also helped estimate the actual number of attendance as every gate could easily count from their feed.
God forbid, in case of fire or any injury, it was good to see the fire and emergency services personnel onsite and on standby for such unforeseen circumstances.
Manuel must have spent a fortune to please the technical rider as requested by Joyous Celebration crew. If one looked at all the workstations and equipment you would have thought it was a complete radio station outside broadcast which warranted smooth sailing of the show with zero hiccups and the quality of sound was also brazenly top notch.
If anyone, for some reason can claim that they didn’t know or hear that JC22 was coming to the country, it will be utter nonsense and flagrant ignorance. A press conference was held several weeks before the event; tickets were sold in advance which ultimately led to the event being sold out. So anyone can do the math: a sitting capacity of over 5,000 for a P300 and P400 tickets; this truly translates the show into a multimillion Pula making venture.
Staging and lighting
Joyous Celebration having a large cast member, the stage was always going to be big. In fact, for me it was the biggest stage I have ever seen locally; similarly with and equal screen backdrop that supported every song played. They were also four big camera screens for anyone who wanted vivid details of the performance in close up. When one arrived into the venue there was a wide screen with graphics of all the sponsors which also doubled as a photo booth. This you can imagine in the world of digital media how far mileage, the individual sponsors got.
Barricades and car parking
With ample space at UB, every vehicle had space to park and easy access when leaving early, thus no incidents were recorded at the event. Barricades were clearly labeled for any customer to understand where they should be or go at any anytime.
The only gripe we could pick with the organizers is for them to go back to the drawing board and improve on time keeping as the show started 1 hour 30minutes late and one of the advertised acts, Vusi was also A.W.O.L and no statement was issued out or apology extended. We can only hope that next year, the show will be even bigger and better with out of this world acoustics.