Organisers of this year’s national music festival have appealed to Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga to help them take charge of the 12-day event.
Preparations have been rocked by demands to give local traders the priority to sell their wares.
Kenya Music Festival executive secretary Ruth Agesa yesterday told the Star local politicians are also demanding a say in the planning.
She said some leaders have been calling her Jogoo House office to lobby for the hawkers. Such lobbying has been previously experienced although politicians have never been involved.
“We’ve always had a challenge with business people wanting to turn the venue to a hawking ground. Most of the time, we have lost control especially with pressure from local leaders. We had a challenge in Kakamega last year and it is the same thing we’re seeing with Nyeri,” Agesa said.
“We want to appeal to Governor Mutahi Kahiga to help us take charge of the event. As much as Nyeri is the host county, the festival is a Kenyan event. We can have an equal and fair playground.”
Agesa said traders have been flocking Jogoo House over the last month to lobby for licences.
She said they have decided to let the county deal with traders licensing and concentrate on other logistics.
The event, the 92 edition of the festival, will focus on “My Country, My Pride, My Future” and the Big Four agenda. “We expect many schools to present in these two categories especially the Big Four agenda because it is the thematic area of our patron who is the President,” Agesa said.
About 120,000 students are expected at the festival that will take place at the Dedan Kimathi University from August 6 to 18.
The ministry is seeking partners to raise funds for the festival. The event is expected to cost Sh150 million.
“Music festival is big and requires a lot of funds. The money required is too high for the ministry to fund. That’s why we are approaching partners,” Agesa said.
Advertisers interested in using music to reach out to the public have been asked to seek collaboration.
The United Nations Childern’s Fund (Unicef) is the main sponsor of the 2018 edition. Others sponsors are Brookeside East Africa, Equatorial Nut Processors, National Hospital Insurance Fund, Public Service Commission, National Environment Management Authority. Kenya Commercial Bank, Communication Authority of Kenya and the National Police Service.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will host winners at the Sagana State Lodge on August 17.