With five editions under wrap, the Safaricom Jazz Festival has enabled experiences that were before, hard to imagine in Kenya. From listening to kids from Kenyan slums play sophisticated musical instruments blasting out enviable jazz tunes under the Ghetto classic programs, to witnessing greatness in action as the legendary Hugh Masekela, BWB, Branford Marsalis, Manu Dibango, David Sanborn, Kunle Ayo, Jimmy Dludlu, Jonathan Butler, or Salif Keita entertain revellers with jazz music that has gone to school and graduated with first-class honours.
What is the Safaricom Jazz Lounge?
The Safaricom Jazz Lounge is a prelude to the Safaricom Jazz Festival. This year’s edition of the Safaricom Jazz Lounge will happen from 18th to 20th October 2018. It is a family friendly event guaranteeing great food, music and company.
The event will be headlined by Diane Reeves who is a five-time Grammy Awards winner – Best Jazz Vocal Album. The show will be flagged by Italian jazz band Double Cut, AdHoc which is one of Kenya’s freshest bands and guitarist Kato Change. It will feature two events, one held at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on the 18th of October and another at the Hells Gate National Park on 20th October both headlined by Diane Reeves. To make the most out of the experience, here are a few tips you can use to have the most fun humanly possible at a music festival.
Rally A Friend
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your experience at this year’s Safaricom Jazz Lounge is to carry along a friend or two-try not to go alone. Experiences are built with people and having like-minded friends with the same type of energy can be infectious. A 2015 study found that people feel closer, develop trust and in addition to their tolerance to pain increasing when they synchronise and dance in a group.
Thus, if there is someone in your life that you’d like to strengthen your relationship with; the brother you’ve never really clicked with, the new guy/girl in the office you’ve wanted to know better, or even a date. The Jazz Lounge is a great place to socialise, there is enough distraction to take away the pressure of having to maintain constant conversation typical of a normal dinner or a lunch out. Plus the festival provides plenty of material (the music, the people, dressing etc.) for starting and maintaining conversations.
Dress within a Theme
Plan your dressing at the Jazz Lounge to follow a particular theme, this should be a fun way to keep the festival interesting plus a creative eye-catching outfit is always a great conversation starter. Fans of do-it-yourself projects will find this particularly fun. For example, if attending the performance at Hells Gate National Park, you could make an animal-themed dress, masks, or do traditional face painting (this might just be your only chance to go #WakandaForever on people without raising too many eyebrows, just don’t carry spears to the concert).
If going with friends you could do a contest for the most creative outfit among yourselves and ask fellow festival goers to vote for their favourite. Again, this is a great way to start conversations and meet new people. The winner could get a gift or the opportunity to ask the other competitors to pull off a dare like finding a group of random people and performing a song loudly (just do it while no one is performing on stage, you wouldn’t want security throwing you out before you see Diane Reeves perform).
Carry a Prop
A great way to have fun at the jazz event is to carry along a prop; a paper flag, badge etc., especially one that you can give to others and encourage further interaction. Props can be simple, I once attended an event where someone was handing out tiny paper flags written If concerts were bathrooms I would be on that stage, you? Additionally, you could also give out props meant to be passed over to the next person, for instance, a prop written best dressed person here, don’t hog it pass it could be a great way to create a ripple effect and watch the reactions on people’s faces (smiles in normal cases) as your fun props are handed to the next person.
Learn the Lyrics Beforehand
You haven’t really attended a concert until you have done so, having intentionally learned the lyrics to all the headliner’s songs. Trust me, the music sounds that much better when you are singing along to every word and the people standing next to you start wondering whether you are the backup singer who just got lost on their way to the stage. I know of friends who got called up to rap along on stage after an international artist on tour noticed them keeping up with all his wordplay and witty punchlines.
Additionally, If you are going out with friends, you could challenge each other to learn the lyrics to all (or some) of Diane Reeves albums by October 18. It’s fun, it’s challenging, plus, your singing in the shower will be much better with a Grammy award-winning music discography committed to memory. Additionally, arrive early and get a front row seat-you have really never enjoyed a concert until you have had a front row experience.
These will not necessarily help you have fun but will help you remain comfortable and in the mood to have fun and enjoy the concert better. The event organisers allow you to carry food and drinks as long as they are sealed, alternatively, you can buy them at the event. Remember to keep yourself hydrated. Considering that you’d probably want to take photos during the event, Facebook Live and the likes; carry a power bank to keep your phone working. Nothing messes a concert up like an empty battery.
Also, chances are that you will be heading home late into the night (the show starts at 8 pm), and in particular if you are attending the event on alone, a full battery would put your mind at ease. On the other hand, for the Hells Gate Concert, there are dinner and accommodation packages offered if you want the full experience. Here are 9 Overlooked Precautions Before & During Camping and Safaris
All ticket proceeds from the show will go towards the Ghetto classics music programme which has received Ksh.60 million to date from the festivals. The programme has reached over 1,400 children in Nairobi and Mombasa. Proceeds from this year’s edition will extend the Ghetto classics music programme to Kisumu where children from disadvantaged backgrounds will be taught how to play musical instruments for free. Entry for adults is Ksh.2, 000, while students with school identity cards will pay a discounted fee of Ksh.500. Tickets are available at select Safaricom Shops, Michael Joseph Centre and by dialling 1511 on your phone.
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