A late start by most artists meant time slots being cut short, including Franco’s repeat performance that came towards daybreak. Even so, Soul Fill Up lived up to its hype and name and the revellers were agog to the end. Staff Writer IMI MOKGETHI reports
The growing trend for local artists to turn up late at events was the fly in the ointment over the weekend when revellers had to wait long before they could get into the groove at Soul Fill Up With Franco at the National Stadium in Gaborone.
Finally held on Saturday night and eventually living up to the hype around it, the festival was postponed in 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the measures in force to curb it.
The show filled the stadium to capacity with its 100% local lineup and would have been one of Botswana’s greatest festivals but for the failure of most artists to keep time their allotted schedules, resulting in several of them having to be cut short, including the main act.
Originally allotted two hours, Franco’s second performance lasted for only one hour as the police kept reminding the organisers that it was time to wrap up.
It emerged in an interview with the Project Manager of Soul Fill Up, Phempheretlhe Pheto, on the sidelines that all performers were informed of their schedules well on time. “Some performers were behind schedule came late despite having been sent them their time slots in advance,” Pheto said.
Other than that, Pheto applauded revellers for their loyalty to Franco, saying the show went well. “We did not imagine we would pull such a crowd and I can’t thank Franco’s supporters enough for their loyalty,” he said. “Even the showers of rain did not chase them away. It is 6am but the stadium is still fully packed.”
There were no crime incidents noticed or recorded except for one where the police arrested two men who were caught selling fake tickets at the gate.
Meanwhile, when The Gazette had a chat with the “Sephiri Se Dule” hit maker just before his final act, Franco could not hide his delight that the National Stadium was full.
“Many had told me that it would be impossible to fill this stadium without international artists but I have proved them wrong,” he said. “I am glad that everyone can see that I have done it. I’ll be waiting for doubters to come and applaud me.”