With Sheriff Janko
With less than few hours to go, The Gambia’s much-anticipated music carnival is here again. This Friday night thousands of fans including music enthusiasts will converge at the Independence Stadium in Bakau for the 10th edition of the annual Open Mic Festival.
Initiated in November 2007 by Black Lynx, the event which started as monthly hood-to-hood show today by far is the country’s biggest musical celebration.
Ten years on, the event has totally changed the status quo in urban Gambian music and even the way Gambians react to their own music, thus celebrating Gambian music renaissance.
The annual event, which is equivalent to Jamaica’s Sumfest, is also widely acclaimed for spotting and bringing to the fore hidden talents.
The theme for this year is, ‘Celebrating Unity in Diversity: One Nation, One Gambia, One Destiny’.
Speaking to Standard Lite, Wagan Faye, a renowned music promoter and one of the brains behind the event, confirmed their level of preparations ahead of the event proper.
“Rehearsals and promotions have been in high gear. We are setting up at the Independence Stadium and doing sound check and trial runs tonight Insh’Allah getting ready for the event. We are praying to make it an epic event tonight in insh’Allah”.
He, however, indicated that this year’s event is special for the fact that they are celebrating 10 years of existence.
He disclosed that fans are getting ready, as the sales of tickets at identified locations are on course.
“Tickets are available at selected Atlas Petrol Stations. Fans are commenting online and calling, making suggestions and telling how ready they are ahead of the event proper. That’s why we call it the people’s event,” he noted.
According to him, on the night they will have a free style segment that is open to all. This segment enables hidden talents showcase their skills.
Artistes in action tonight are O-Boy and Gambian Child, Big Faa, ENC, Gee, Royal Messenger, Sophia, Binzy, Miss Jibizz, Killa Ace, ST, Bai Babu, T Smallz, Bro K, Nobles, Alieu Badara and Baddibunka to be backed by Holy Family and Humanity Bands.
With organisers aiming for bigger and better concert each year, OMF is without doubt taking The Gambia’s music to a new plateau.