From up-tempo house music to traditional Ugandan folk songs, the mid-year edition of the Tusker Cider-sponsored Blankets and Wine – held last Sunday at the Lugogo Cricket Oval – delivered a vibrant mix of live musical experiences to live up to the hype that was generated pre-show and as the event marks 10 years.
Starting at 2:00 pm, the edition kicked off with the DJ duo – Melodic Inversions – who ushered the guests into the venue with their unique blend of electronic music mixes paired with an electric guitar as the guests set up their camping chairs and mats.
Once revellers started settling in, the A Ka Dope Band took the stage alongside Brain Aliddeki – a multi-instrumentalist and Afro-fusion folk songwriter and performer, whose modern take on traditional folk songs was backed by Maganda dancers.
The band then took to beautifully executed covers of songs like Chronixx’s Skanking Sweet, Tarrus Riley’s One Drop, J Boog’s Let’s Do It Again – all the way to Radio and Weasel’s Taxi Money – a crowd favourite.
Kamanzii – the soft-spoken songstress – came next and opened her set with covers of popular African tunes before getting into some of her original compositions, including a melodic “Chocolate Heaven” – a song about finding your happy place whenever life gets tough.
She was followed by the talented Joshua Baraka – who performed some of his soul-inspired songs like Omu and Belinda, and while introducing his “Tewekweka” (which translates to “Do not hide”), he said to the crowd, “Your true beauty is beyond the clothes you wear. It’s the energy you carry when you enter a room.”
This statement, it seems, was a testament to the freedom of expression displayed by both the attendees and performers of Blankets and Wine over the years.
Speaking on behalf of the main sponsor – Tusker Cider – Simon Lapyem, UBL’s Innovations Project Manager, said,”Blankets and Wine is a historically strong promoter of Ugandan talent, creativity and expression, which celebrates all the ways through which we can find fun, beauty and excitement in our uniqueness. Tusker Cider is, therefore, the perfect companion for this platform because it is a brand that delivers the unique experiences through which our consumers can have a good time.”
Beyond the new Ugandan artists, this edition also featured sets from DJ Ssese, Fem Dj and DJ Simon – who took the crowd through urban, pop and dancehall transitions in-between the live performances.
As the show came to an end, the South African duo – Blaq Diamond – took the attendees on a journey through their Amapiano genre capped by their hit – Summer yo Muthi.
And to bring the show to an epic close shortly after 10 pm, Nigeria’s Ayra Starr came through with Bloody Samaritan, Overloading, Fashion Killer and more.
For an event that is all about celebrating talent through music, fashion and art, Blankets and Wine lived up to this standard as it delivered a wide range of musical experiences in a single event.