Hype Fest hosted a concert featuring Jamaican star Konsens and Kenyan artists who included; Nviiri,
Ethic, Kansoul, Gwaash, Sailors, Bensoul, Ochungulo Family and Chris Kaiga.
The highly anticipated concert took place at Ngong Racecourse on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Konshens bought tickets, mostly in advance, and was ready for a big concert, but not everything was rosy during the concert.
The ugly one
Getting to the event was a problem and there was no proper coordination for parking to allow orderly parking, resulting in severe traffic jams for the duration of the event. There was no security at the parking lot and there were cases of theft while people were on their way to the event. Leaving was also a problem, especially for those ordering taxis and people had to walk to get to their taxis.
Entry to the event was also a problem. When the majority of the participants arrived there was no coherent entry strategy and it led to a stampede. It is very dangerous for an event of this magnitude, especially since people were injured and it is a miracle that no one was seriously injured. There was also no verification of tickets at the entrance which defeats the purpose of people buying tickets. Some people who did not have tickets in advance entered for free. Others who had regular tickets also became VIPs. It is also alleged that some people bribed security and entered the event at a fraction of the cost.
At the event, there were portable toilets for the participants. However, there were very few of them, which caused a lot of inconvenience for the participants. Women were particularly affected and there were unnecessarily long queues.
There were very few food and drink providers at the event. Providers were overwhelmed and that meant getting food and drinks was taking so long. It is important to note however that food and drinks at the event were very affordable.
Security inside the event was also lacking and people were also stripped of their valuables during the event.
The music for the event was first class. Kenyan acts at the event were particularly incredible. Konshens arrived around 2 a.m. and demolished the house. It was one of the rare redeeming qualities of the event.
In my opinion, because the venue for the event was large, the organizers should have installed more screens at the event so that more people could enjoy the event no matter where they were. find.
In light of complaints from the event, organizers have moved forward to discredit and minimize the security breaches. They attributed the complaints about it to sheer hatred, which is very insensitive. Event partner G Money (Conrad Gray) claimed the people complaining were over 30 and shouldn’t have been at the event anyway. It is a total disregard for the experience of the participants.
Organizers also claimed that 13,000 people attended the event. How can they know how many people attended the event when they haven’t checked the tickets?
The event organizers focused too much on the music and forgot about the comfort and safety of the attendees. There was a lot of risk for the participants and the organizers didn’t seem to care.
The kind of security breaches that occurred during the event are very serious and could have been fatal. In 2014, at the Smirnoff experience, 3 people died after a stampede during the event. You would then expect the organizer to at least apologize and promise to do better next time.
This particular organizer has a history of events with similar issues and it is unfortunate that they did not learn from past events. At the Tekno concert in 2017there was also a stampede, lax security and a horrible drink buying experience.
The general vibe of the organizers is that some people generally had a good time at the event and that’s all they are interested in. This position is quite unfortunate and does not give confidence for future events. I hope the organizer can at least apologize and affirm their commitment to making future events better and safer for participants.
Event organizers are responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of participants. This includes everything from security inside and out, to providing sufficient sanitary facilities and, of course, enough food and beverage stations. This is what will make them want to come to future events. It is important to note that other larger events held in Kenya have been able to provide, so this is not impractical.