No beer fest this year

Wednesday October 17 2018


Audience at a past Mutzig Beer Fest event. PHOTO | FILE 

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The Mutzig Beer Fest an annual event, which is organised by Bralirwa Ltd will not take place this year.

The event, which takes place in summer, is aimed at promoting Mutzig Beer.

Inspired by the German Oktoberfest, the Mutzig beer fest was initiated in 2008 to celebrate and prmote the brand.

The event, which in recent years has attracted thousands, is popular among the youth, who enjoy promotional beer, alongside live musical performances from both local and guest musicians and Deejays.

Organisers said the event will take a break this year to make it better in future.

“We want to do it in a big way to enable the incorporation of a wider audience,” said Patricia Garuka, senior brand manager for Mutzig at Bralirwa Ltd.

The event has gradually evolved from being a Kigali city affair, to exiting festival that is also staged in Rugende in Gasabo district and Nyamata, Bugesera district.

The organisers hope to expand the festival to a three-day event. According to Garuka, the Beer Fest will extend to other parts of the country.

Unlike the Guma Guma Super Star Music Competition, also is an annual event organised by Bralirwa, which is free, the Mutzig Beer Fest as a corporate event, that comes with an entrance charge, which organizers say is aimed at settling Artists’ performances and other production operations.

With consideration that most of their consumes are urban dwellers, who constitute 70 per cent in Kigali, initially, organisers were sckeptical of staging the event out of town.

“It doesn’t matter where it is held, as long as it is of quality,” said Garuka.

“We have witnessed that today people embrace idea of out of town,” she said.

Organisers further pointed out that restriction on sound levels by police affected the event, since it had to end earlier than expected in Kigali.

However, Garuka said the event is rather a giveaway celebration, than an income generating one.

“We generate back a third of what we invest in,” she states. We don’t make much in terms of sales, as most beer sales are on promotion,” she said.

The challenges cited over time have been lack of stable quality sound equipment, which organisers say has been sorted out.

“With this, we have before deployed sound from as far as Tanzania, since we could barely find it here, which better lately,” saidGaruka.

“Kigali will be one of these venues, but we are considering to stage shows in two other areas out of Kigali,” Garuka added.

Over the years, the event seemed to have placed more focus on stage performance, rather than beer.

Last year, the event hosted Rwandan Afro-R&B musician Meddy as its main artist.

“We want it to be a beer celebration, which is its core goal,” Garuka said.

The event is hoping to partner with other players to incorporate more activities like food and beverage, art, fashion, games and other fun fares.

“We are not short of budget,” Garuka revealed.

Unlike before when Mutzig Beer supported most artistic performances, it is narrowing down to a few events.

“We are trying not to be all over the place, but to work with platforms that resonate with the brand,” she said.