Despite doing well in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala in Uganda, the Rwanda edition of Blankets and Wine is facing sponsorship huddles, which have hampered its growth.
Its first edition, which took place in August last year at the Kigali Golf Club, featured musicians like South Africa’s Tresor Riziki, Uganda-based Rwandan musician Lillian Mbabazi and Rwandan artistes Bruce Melodie, Mike Kayihura and Citi Tru.
Organisers of Blankets and Wine Kigali promised another event the same year, but this never happened due to lack of sponsorship.
“We had a verbal agreements with several sponsors, but they changed their minds in the last minute, which destabilised us,” said David Kamanda, a Blankets and Wine Kigali official.
“People want this kind of family-oriented event, which we hope will do well in the country,” he added.
The plan was to hold this event twice a year, but this has not happened.
“Sponsorship is a key factor because operational costs cannot be catered for with just the ticket fees,” said Kamanda.
The event was founded by Muthoni Ndonga, a popular Kenyan musician, who is popularly known as Muthoni The Drummer Queen. The first shows were held in 2008, then later expanded to Uganda.
The event brings together live music and wine. The Nairobi edition is celebrating its 10th anniversary in November.
The picnic-style event is described by fans as a great way of enjoying live music by talented African acts, alongside fashion and food.
“We are hopeful that Blankets and Wine will return next year,” said Kamanda.
Lack of sponsorship has hampered other events such as Happy People, Black Party, Jambo Beach Party, Salax Music Awards, Nyama Choma Extravanza, which have disappeared from the social scene.
Others like We Are One Summer Beach Fest, Kigali Up Music Festival, Isano Music Festival, Meet and Meat still grapple with sponsorship challenges.