New Vision (Kampala)

22 May 2012

Uganda: Music Concerts Banned Beyond 10 - 00pm

Photo: Facebook
American rapper Sisqo

WITH American singer, song writer and producer - Sisqo, real names Mark Arthaveans Andrew's, highly anticipated concert just around the corner, KCCA's Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi has cracked the whip on concerts.

If news filtering in is anything to go by, the future of Kampala's night outdoor entertainment is silent disco!

The no-nonsense Musisi is determined to put music concerts into perspective. She has outlawed 'loud' concerts and has decreed artistes don't perform beyond 10:00pm (a time when most concert-goers are still  ocking in and enjoying curtain raising acts).

In a strong-worded letter that will surely cause anguish to Kampala's party animals, she has moved to ban concerts at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds, Kati Kati Bar and Restaurant, Hotel Africana People's space until owners get clearance from KCCA.

In the communiqué obtained, aforementioned places, which recently played hostto the music battle between Bobi Wine and Bebe Cool, Coco Finger's launch and the Goodlyfe's Tonjagala launch respectively, are faulted for persistent noise pollution, especially on weekends when they host large and noisy gatherings.

Please take note that you have been holding these outdoor events without a permit from KCCA as required by the Law and Order Ordinance (2006) and the National Environment (Noise Standards and Control Regulations, 2003).

This is to, therefore, direct you to stop forthwith any outdoor events at your facility until you obtain a permit from both KCCA and NEMA for each particular event you intend to hold." the letter, signed by KCCA's Director Legal Affairs Mike Okua indicates.

Musisi's flowers spark fury

An insider at KCCA tells  e Kampala Sun that the ultimatum from Jennifer Musisi stems from an incident during the just concluded Battle of the Champions between Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine.

The source tells that Musisi was driven to boiling point when show goers at Kyadondo, in total disregard for her efforts to beautify that part of town, destroyed her flowers as they stampeded to the venue.

This was also soured by the concert ending at 4:00am with Police having to step on stage to stop Bebe Cool from further performance.

The source says Musisi intends to make it hard for those with facilities for outdoor events to obtain permits.

Even then, the source says, these permits will come with stringent guidelines, among which is for the concerts to end by 10:00pm.

Peter Kaujju, the KCCA spokesperson confirms the new developments. In a phone interview, he admitted the new guidelines, owners of the outdoor event facilities, will have to apply for a permit from both KCCA and NEMA for each particular event they intend to hold.

He was, however, coy on the cost of these permits but added; "Failure to comply with the instructions will compel KCCA to impound one's entertainment machines and or close the premises and cause arrest and persecution for violation of the National Environment (Noise Standards and Control Regulations, 2003 and the Law and Order Ordinance (2006)."

Kaujju admitted that extreme discomfort from concerts isn't only affecting the Kololo and Naguru areas but will soon expand to cover all the other entertainment facilities in the city famed for hosting loud concerts.

Previous bans failed

In 2008 bar owners and born-again churches were thrown in similar panic as over 11 were closed a er being found to be main culprits responsible for high levels of noise pollution.

The managers of these places had their machines impounded and were charged in court. Most of them pleaded guilty to the charge and were fined sh200,000.

The bars that were penalised then included Golden Keys in Kiwatule, Soberz in Ntinda, Steak Out, Biggs, Blue Haze and Cheerz, all on Lumumba Avenue; as well as Punchline, Little Mama, Café Cherries and Tasha's Pub, in Kabalagala.

Also among them were Blue Corner and Ground Zero, both in Wandegeya. A NEMA official says on average, 10 complaints about noise pollution are received every week.

The National Environment Noise Standards and Control Regulations (2003) specifies the maximum permissible levels, as measured on the sound meter, are 40, 60 and 75 decibels for residential, commercial and industrial areas respectively.

However, according to the o cial, some concerts produce up to 150 decibels, which are similar to a plane taking o on the runway.

Musisi is a joker

Bebe Cool, one of the musicians involved in the Battle of Champions reveals that following the impasse at Kyaddondo Grounds, he personally apologised to Musisi, who has also since declared her interest in working with musicians as was exhibited when she launched the Kampala City Yange, with artistes in a bid to transform Kampala. "We shall get on the drawing table and strike a compromise," he said.

The managers at the affected outdoor entertainment facilities declined to comment although a famous music promoter, on condition of anonymity, branded her a joker.

"Let her start with the churches before wasting time on us. Many have tried and failed. Interfering with our business is the biggest joke I've heard from Musisi," he angrily responded.

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