Organizers in The Gambia are all set for the ECOFEST music festival scheduled for April 5 at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
Organized by Kabaka Multimedia and Entertainment (KME) and Global Ace, the event brings together some of West Africa’s popular artists on one stage to celebrate sub-regional unity and diversity. The organizers say it’s also aimed at creating economic opportunities for artists and help boost tourism and promote West Africa’s entertainment industry.
The International Publicist for ECOFEST, Olimatta Taal tips the festival to be the Gambia’s biggest musical concert, adding that it’s an opportunity to showcase talents and create networks for artists.
“This is one of its kind to be staged in The Gambia and from now on, we intend to put this in the entertainment calendar of the country with the firm believe that ECOFEST will become the center stage of excellence, sharing of cultural and music ideas from all the West African nations.”
Participating artists come from The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. Among them are ST Brikama Boyo and Jizzle, the Gambia’s two biggest up-and-coming singers, Dip Dounda Giss of Senegal and Timaya of Nigeria.
Abby Sarr, the Manager of Global Ace says ECOFEST will bridge the gap in the sub-region’s music industry by helping to develop the local music industry and give international exposure to local talents.
“The Gambia is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. But until entertainment is given its rightful purpose and place in national policies of the country, its economic value will be eroded. Therefore, promoting the entertainment industry becomes more important for the socio-economic development of the country.”
For J.C. Loum, an ex-Gambian international footballer and stakeholder in the ECOFEST, Gambian artists have suffered long enough and neglected, arguing that the need to support them becomes paramount for the overall success of the country’s entertainment industry. He says ECOFEST will create market for local artists to reach to music lovers.
The maiden edition of ECOFEST was held in Sierra Leone last year, attracting over 45,000 music fans. The organizers in The Gambia are targeting a 60,000 crowd and are counting on music fans to make that happen.