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Nigerian Music Concerts Have Gotten Worse, But Will 2019 Be Different?

Which Nigerian music concert did you go for in December? Whichever one, it probably started late or was hamstrung by technical difficulties or had the familiar setting of expensive tables at the front, to show the gulf between the rich and poor. Or, worse still, it had women getting sexually assaulted and harassed and the problem of inadequate security for all.

These are several issues that have plagued musical concerts in Nigeria for a long time, a string of late-year events put together by huge pop artistes behind the year’s biggest hit songs and headlines, only for them to appear on stage lip-syncing and hardly offering quality live entertainment.

Olamide performing at OLIC 2018

Photo: Instagram

This past December, the trifecta of Davido, Wizkid and Olamide had their yearly concerts in Lagos. Olamide’s OLIC pivoted away from using the Teslim Balogun Stadium, which experienced a low turnout largely attributed to the fear of lack of security, a ripple effect from Phyno’s PhynoFest where women were allegedly raped on the open grounds of the concert.

The fifth instalment of OLIC started very late, with Olamide appearing before the crowd around 1 am and with a surprise cameo from Wizkid, who had also performed at his own Made In Lagos concert that day. Unsurprisingly, Wizkid showed up late for his own show and for a mega artiste who did not perform at the prestigious Coachella and the Made in America concert put together by Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2016, Wizkid has already established a disturbing trend.


2018 was arguably Burna Boy’s year, with an early album Outside which would debut at the No 3 spot on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart. But his much-anticipated concert “Burna Boy Live” which held on Boxing Day suffered the same malaise – lateness.

At the Convention Centre, Eko Hotel, Burna made his fans wait until around 2 am before he appeared on stage. Although it was a good show, artists coming late to their concerts is so deeply ingrained in our culture we don’t hold them accountable or ask them to do better. Which is why the trend keeps repeating itself, every year.

Simi, Nigeria’s R&B sweetheart, had the first outing of her “See Me Live” series in Lagos, but it was blemished by technical issues and Simi herself showing up hours late.

There’s the pointed irony of the musical acts that performed, using the services of DJs given that the show employs a live performance template. Simi subsequently apologised for her lateness, but there’s the feeling that will happen again.

The New Year is here, and it brings a lot of hopes and wishes and expectations. For loyal fans of Nigerian artistes though, they will expect a better organisation of concerts and shows from their favourite artists – because they deserve better.

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