Cancellation of a concert in Kigali has put city authorities and entertainment entrepreneurs on warpath over enforcement of noise pollution directives.
Entrepreneurs, who had hoped to make a kill from the concert took their frustrations to social media in a petition, accusing city authorities of arbitrary cancelling the music concerts.
As events and concert organizers warmed up to the recent lifting of curfews and other Covid-19 restrictions that had dampened their business for the past two years, they were taken aback when municipality authorities moved to enforce noise pollution rules.
Earlier in the week, the heads of Evolve music and Trappish music, took to Twitter to protest abrupt cancellation of a concert, Love drunk, they co-organised to be headlined by a visiting Nigerian musician Ycee, saying it was unjust since they abided by all requirements stipulated by the city authorities.
“Our companies (Evolve Music group and Trappish) had all the clearance from Rwanda convention Bureau and the City of Kigali. The cancellation of the concert put us in a loss of Rwf20 million, as we had to pay The Nigerian artist Ycee, Rwandan artists and other expenses to organize the concert”
“We humbly ask you to give us justice,” said Ish Kevin, the CEO of Trappish music.
Other musicians as well as the general public weighed in the accusation, calling on the government to look into the matter. The concert organizers claim to have observed the sound moderation as per the third requirement in the clearance letter they got from the city of Kigali, which asked them to “moderate sound in order to avoid noise pollution.”
However, they say moments after the concert had kicked off, vice mayor in charge of urbanisation and infrastructure Merald Mpabwanamaguru —who was also a reveller at the event — abruptly ordered its shutting down, to
the surprise of many.
“You are the reason young capable Rwandans want to go to Europe and America and don’t come back, we give our all and this is what we get in return,
this is our lives you are playing with.”
“Two years in the pandemic and when we get to work these misters and
mistresses can't let us work, how do you cancel a show for noise pollution at 10pm?” said Kivumbi King, a renowned Rwandan artist.
In a statement on its twitter account, the city of Kigali said “It was highlighted in the letter that granted organiser's the permission, they failed to abide with the point number 3 of moderating sounds to avoid noise pollution in such residential area. We remind all events organiser's to moderate sounds in all they do.”
This comes on the heel of Rwandan authorities prohibiting the use of loud speakers while making the Adhan call that reminds Muslims of prayers, on
grounds of noise pollution.
The directive prohibits use of loud-speakers for adhan between 10 pm and 6am, as well as the 4:30am call that calls Muslims for the 5 am prayers every day.