- Residents reportedly petitioned GCC
- Promoters criticize authorities for cancellation
- “We have engaged our attorneys Ramalepa Attorneys to assist us”- Debbie Smith
Theories continue to emerge concerning the real reasons behind the postponement of the Hamptons Jazz Festival which was meant to be held at Duma FM grounds in Gaborone North this past weekend.
While the organizers say they postponed the event following the announcement of tight time restrictions by the city council, Gaborone North residents told Time Out that they registered complaints with the council about the festival. “These festivals frustrate us as residents, it is noisy, we cannot access our homes because of the traffic and sometimes our property is damaged,” one resident said.
Others who took to social media dismissed the outrage of people complaining about the show’s cancellation, saying their inconvenience is nothing compared to what they go through during musical festivals at Duma FM grounds.
While the festival’s organizer Debbie Smith says they are doing everything to have the gig back on 28th April, some promoters say the postponement has dented the reputation of the Hamptons.
Seabelo Modibe was critical of the city council’s statement, particularly where it absolved itself of liabilities. “It was insinuating that the security was not enough even though they are the same people who asked the promoters to submit a detailed security plan last year, which they did,” he said in defense of the festival organizers.
Another promoter, Massie Hule criticized the inconsistency in the application of bylaws after the city council moved time for the Hamptons from the normal 2am to 12 midnight.
City mayor Kagiso Thutlwe however absolved himself and councillors from the ongoing accusations of sabotage, saying “We believe in our event organizers and we fully support the arts within the city…I therefore call on the central government to do the honourable thing and allow the Hamptons to take place and like many festivals that have enjoyed the long hours,” he posted on Facebook.
According to Gaborone City Council bylaws, normally an outdoor music festival is allowed to go on until 2am and time extensions can be sought where necessary. When their time was cut back, the Hamptons decided to postpone the event, saying the shorter time frame could not accommodate their artists.
“We have engaged our attorneys Ramalepa Attorneys to assist us in seeking a permit to allow the show to run from 11 am to 6am the following morning,” said the Hamptons organisers in their postponement statement.
While some revelers suspect that the show was postponed because artists were likely unpaid, Billy Ocean, Salif Keita, Amanda Black, ATI, Ndingo Johwa among others have confirmed their availability for the scheduled time.