Despite the government having extended trading hours for music festivals, promoters have come out to point fingers at liquor store operators, accusing them of sabotaging the industry by operating beyond extended hours.
For the past 10 years music festival operating hours were shorter, however during this past festive season the government, under the leadership of President Masisi extended trading hours for events from 6 pm to 6 am.
Festival promoters are of the view that since the extension, bars have taken advantage of this development and extended their trading hours as well, which puts the in direct competition with festivals.
Vocal music promoter and businessman Seabelo Modibe strongly believes that this conduct by bars owners is disrupting the music festival industry. “The problem is that the Ministry of Trade and Industry has only met up with bar owners not music festival promoters. The other thing is that politicians believe that bar owners will help them retain their seats in the next elections; bars that are operating at illegal hours have turned into sheebens. They start operating in the morning and close the following day,” said a furious Modibe.
Another seasoned music promoter Gilbert Seagile was not pleased by the fact that bars are operating extended hours. “Next time the government should learn to consult with us event promoters. Again they should introduce separate trading hours for both bars and music festivals to make things easier for both parties”.
It was not every promoter who expressed their complaints but there are some who saw light with the new development.
Music promoter Massie Hule welcomed the new development with open arms stating that business wise it was a good move as it encourages more people to attend and enjoy the full experience of any music festival without fear of the event shutting down early.
“Business wise its good because revelers attend in numbers and it is also a manageable situation,” Hule said.
“It is really good that we have this development at the moment and my wish is to see it grow with time. It should be understood that we specialize in the trade of art not alcohol,” said seasoned events promoter Zenzele Hirschfield.