5 July 2018

Zimbabwe: Fans Decry Poor Sound At Live Shows

Music lovers have expressed disappointment over poor sound quality at live performances saying the development is depriving them of quality entertainment during live shows. In the last few months, music promoters have been failing to deliver good live shows due to poor sound quality with the recent one being Thomas Mapfumo's homecoming gig at Glamis Arena in April.

The Air Force of Zimbabwe's Winter Warmer Concert and most recently over the weekend, Jive Zimbabwe's One Big Party at Padziva, also suffered a similar fate.

At One Big Party, dancehall star Freeman had to abandon the stage after what seemed to be 30 minutes of torture, trying to improve the sound, with no success.

The event which was to celebrate his birthday and those that were born in June was disastrous as fans took over the stage in protest.

Speaking on the side lines of the event a distraught reveller Tawananyasha Mukumbi expressed her disappointment over the poor sound quality.

"We paid to watch Freeman perform not to just see him on stage appealing for better sound. I came here to celebrate but now all hopes have been lost because of poor organisation," she said.

Mukumbi added that promoters need to work hard to ensure good live shows.

She was among hundreds who thronged the monthly event in Dzivarasekwa Extension.

In his defence, Jive Zimbabwe director Benji Nyandoro said he was duped into believing the sound he had hired was good enough for the show.

"We need to blacklist those who lie that their equipment can even pull produce good sound for an artist like Jah Prayzah just to get a deal. I was disappointed by the first guy. When we found out that we were stuck with poor equipment it was already too late. I had to hire a different set (of equipment) for Sunday.

Nyandoro had to organise another performance for free the next day.

Arts reporter and regular show goer Tafadzwa Muranganwa said the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) should monitor live shows to protect fans from being short changed by music promoters.

"NACZ as custodians of our art and issuers of promoters' licence should go around monitoring shows especially the big events, maybe even check if the sound is up to standard before a show to prevent fans from being short-charged," said Muranganwa.

He also called upon promoters and artists alike to engage good sound engineers.

"Hifa always has the best sound quality and they use local guys, why is it then so hard for other promoters to have good sound," he said.

"As for artists, they should always travel with their sound engineers as part of the band, always have sound checks before the show and refuse to perform with poor equipment. If they demand quality, their fans will also get quality."

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