Three Blankets and Wine Festivals Happening In East Africa This December


Blankets and Wine is a one-day festival experience if music, fashion, food and play held quarterly in Nairobi, Kampala and bi-annually in Kigali. It is designed to be a day into night experience with extra attention paid to accommodating families. This December, the people behind the festival- Good Times Africa, will cement their reputation as the festival of choice in East Africa as it hosts its beloved Blankets and Wine in;

Kenya- 10th December

Kampala and Kigali- 17th December

The guests for this year’s festival are in for an amazing treat with an amazing line up of performances by; Shekinah (South Africa), Niniola(Nigeria), Sauti Sol (Kenya), Charly and Nina (Rwanda), Rabadaba (Uganda) and Kelissa (Jamaica). Other notable performances will be, Maia and the Big Sky, Benon and Vampos, AKA Dope Band, Izaya and Friends, Bero, Mwiza, Moiyze, Kiki Toure, Methusela, Eli Nihloxica, Odinerah Bingwa, Barak Jaccuzi, Vallerie Muthoni, Dave Ndegwa and Berracah.

The 80-minute long artist development showcase dubbed ‘Nu-Nairobi’ that was established at the Nairobi series in April in 2017 to highlight emerging talent. It combines a house band selected from Nairobi’s- A-list instrumentalists and 6-8 emerging musicians from the established alternative scene. Each artist gets a professional photo shoot, biography, and audio-visual recording that the artists can use for promotional purposes beyond the festival.

Additionally, the Blankets and Wine festival pays for rehearsal, professional instrumentalist’s fees and a music director to compose and direct this set. Finally, each artist receives an honorarium fee for their 20-minute showcase up to 10 minutes of their performance at the event. This way, these upcoming artists get the same tools to allow them to get into other festivals/spaces as well. This has already borne fruit with Tetu Shani from the April showcase set to play in Kigali. This is a show of how Blankets and Wine is a great place to invest resources in building artists into international brands.

You know it is time to have a good time when you hear that East Africa Breweries (EABL) will for the first time partner up with the festival this December in all three countries. This will bring drinks such as Tusker Lite, Tusker Malt, Cîroc and Ugandan Waragi will be to the table. Other notable contributions making it there will be Concord Hotels and Suites, Club Soda, Fiesta, Black Rhino, Africa Yoga Project and Ofgen Solar in Kenya, Silk Events, Roke Telkom, Capital FM, NTV and Golden Tulip in Uganda.

Also, in keeping up with the vision of having more festival professionals in East Africa, Blankets and Wine has in 2017 built partnerships with Nyege Nyege Festival from Uganda, Kilifi NYE Festival from Kenya and will feature artists from both festivals in the December programming.  This will add on to the ongoing peer to peer training of festival producers and artistic programmers already underway with the first phase having been successfully completed at Nyege Nyege 2017. This was done in a partnership with the British Council’s East African Artists Festival Management Program.

This year’s events will be in line with Blankets and Wine Core vision which is to showcase outstanding emerging and established African musicians and create a platform where creators of cultural projects such as fashion, food, and art can connect with audiences. The event is expected to have a total of 7000 guests attending the three events. This festival is so popular that some of those guests may come from Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and DRC Congo.

Event Details

Festival                     Where                                                                              Ticket details

Nairobi Festival       Uhuru Gardens, from 12.00 noon – 10.00 pm                     Ksh. 2500

Kampala Festival     Lugogo Cricket Oval   12.00 noon – 10.00 pm                    UGX 100,000

Kigali Festival           Kigali Golf Club 12.00 noon – 10.00 pm                            RWE 25,000

After all the three events, the final treat will be the Africa Nouveau Festival which is a 2 day, 2-night festival curation of music, film, fashion, design, art+tech, food and style. Drawing from Nairobi’s coolest audience, the festival will now showcase innovative new art by East African and British Talent which is thanks to the British Council’s East African Arts Program. This program seeks to create connections between creatives from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania and The UK. The next festival will be held on 2-4th February 2018 in Athi River themed Afro Bubble Gum.

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