THE organisers of the highly-publicised Sungura Blast concert were left red-faced after it turned into a monumental flop, attracting a paltry crowd at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on Saturday.
It was, indeed, a reality check of how not to do show business for ambitious organisers, Gateway Stream Music, a local entertainment company that is a subsidiary of Rainbow Tourism Group which organised the show.
The organisers were left with a huge bill that came with paying the artistes who performed at the poorly attended gig.
It is uncertain what really caused the poor turnout, but the price madness has been cited as part of the recipe for the disaster by some followers of showbiz matters.
In such an economic melting environment, how ridiculous it was to charge US$50 and US$20 for the VIP and standard ticket, respectively.
Even though the organisers later lowered the charges to US$30 and US$10, it appears many merrymakers had made alternative plans.
On paper, it was a show not to be missed as it was featuring the crème de la crème of the country’s entertainers who are crowd pullers in their own right.
Among the performers were the king of sungura Alick Macheso, sungura godfather Nicholas “Senior “Lecturer” Zakaria, dendera crooner Sulumani Chimbetu and gifted lyricist Mark Ngwazi.
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Other artistes included jiti singer Baba Harare, rising kanindo songstress, Shantel Sithole and the talented Audinace Kuimba.
The artistes performed in an “empty” auditorium as the upper deck of the venue was literally empty, while on the lower deck, some band members and technical crews could be seen hanging out with the fans.
The setting at HICC was far short of the ambience experienced in June when Baba Shero as Macheso is affectionately known, successfully launched his latest offering titled Tinosvitswa Nashe at the oversubscribed Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza.
Despite the show being poorly attended, artistes who performed must be applauded for their professionalism as they gave the fans a good show.
Even the production was excellent as there were no sound glitches that usually spoil good performances.
For artistes, such as Sithole and Kuimba, the excitement that comes with rubbing shoulders with industry veterans at a concert of such magnitude should be enough to console them for the embarrassment of performing in an “empty” auditorium.
On the night Macheso, Zacharia, Baba Harare and Sulu did not disappoint the merrymakers as they justified and proved why they were selected to perform at the concert.
They, indeed, respected and honoured the few fans, who parted with their cash to watch them in action, with well-choreographed separate sets.
The crowd was kept its toes and responded very well to some of the artistes hit songs.
In a surprise and hilarious act that brought with it wild screams from fans, Mufakose Nyau dancers were invited to be part of Baba Harare’s set as he took his artistry to another level on the night.
It was a marvel to watch for many as their phones could be seen up from all directions to capture the moments while those who were at the VIP moved closer to the stage for a clear view.