Gambia: Fifth Open Mic Festival Slated Dec 28th

The hit monthly hood-to-hood street stage show which later culminated in a mega festival dubbed 'Open Mic Festival' is set to celebrate its fifth years existence on December 28th 2012 at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. Claimed to be the Gambia's biggest music night celebration, 'Open Mic Festival' is now an annual event set to tap and bring to the fore, The Gambia's unseen finest talents.

With over 13 artists confirmed to grace this year's event organizers, the forces behind this event, are of the view that 2012 celebration will be one of its kind in the history of the country.

The underlying tones of the festival mainly seek to draw attention to our sense of feeling proudly urban Gambian and simply expressing our Gambian pride through music by staging a world-class event for all. Its' widely anticipated by all and is growing bigger and bigger each year. The music renaissance has swept across the nation like a tidal wave and its ripping effect have crept into the heart and minds of tens of thousands of young people.

The annual Open Mic Festival and the monthly Open Mics continue to provide the biggest live audience platform for recording and performing artistes in the Gambia. It has impacted urban Gambian music predominantly over the past five years and has as an event, serve as the blueprint for most local concerts. It is also responsible for giving urban Gambian its greatest gift, hope, hope of that careers can be built and livelihoods earned by pursuing one's passion for the art of music.

Now that the concerts by local acts are regularly filled to capacity with artists, producers churning out more 'bagging' records and radio giving it more local music oriented shows that ever, the TV too, there's certainly more out there in the horizon, if not only to believe and continue support each other in the spirit of Nyaato, a Mandinka parlance meaning forward.

This years' edition of the event scheduled for December 28th at the Independence Stadium shall be the fifth since inception of the monthly series in November 2007.This has enhanced the spirit of competition and has encourage artists to work even harder in order to be more visible. It against this backdrop that the brains behind this initiative, On Wednesday convened a press briefing to shed more light ahead of the event proper.

Giving an introductory remark, Francis Abdul Malik Mendy alias Xmyls, explained that every year they seek to make the event a little better than the previous year. He explained that with the ardent support of an ever increasing and loyal following, Open Mic has clocked 58 monthly events in various neighborhoods within the Greater Banjul Area and West Coast Region and four festivals. He explained that the 'Open Mics' happens last Friday every month unless unless a special circumstance happens.

Xmyls intimated that the significant of the event cannot be overemphasized as the event has been around for five years now adding that it has given urban Gambian music a new dimension. "The show has been in the forefront in promoting of urban Gambian music. We've see a lot of thing develop from 'Open Mic' itself as a' left radios as well as young people gravitated from towards it mainly because this is what is happening which everybody want to be a part of" he added. He spoke at length about the event which also includes the selection of criteria of performing acts for the event.

Abdou Karim Faye alias Wagaan also spoke at length on the history of the event and how it has impacted in urban Gambian music and artistes in general. The press briefing was characterized by question and answer sessions.

Meanwhile, confirmed artists expected to perform at this years' event includes-Manding Morry , Gee,Trobul Smallz, Jali Madi, ENC, Bro K, Vypa, ST, Papa Lengthy, Mighty Joe, Magnificent Joe, Slam G, and the Gambia's reggae dancehall ambassador-Rebellion The Recaller.

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