Poor security & disorganization ruin the Konshens concert in Nairobi

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Hype Fest organized a concert featuring Jamaican star Konsens and Kenyan acts that included; Nviiri,
Ethic, Kansoul, Gwaash, Sailors, Bensoul, Ochungulo Family and Chris Kaiga.

The much anticipated concert was held at Ngong Racecourse on Saturday 7th September 2019. Konshens bought tickets, mostly in advance, and were set for a great concert but however all wasn’t rosy at the concert.

The ugly

Getting to the event was a hassle and there was no proper coordination for parking to enable orderly parking and this led to serious traffic jams for the duration of the event. There was no security at the parking and there were robbery cases as people made their way to the event. Leaving was also a problem especially for those ordering taxis and people had to walk to get to their cabs.

Entrance to the event was also a problem. When the majority of the attendees arrived, there was no coherent entrance strategy and this led to a stampede. This is highly dangerous for an event of that magnitude especially considering that people got hurt and it is a miracle no one got seriously hurt. There was also no ticket verification at the entrance which beats the purpose of people buying tickets. Some people who did’t have advance tickets got in free. Others who had regular tickets also got into VIP. It is also alleged that some people bribed the security and got into the event at a fraction at the cost.

The bad

At the event, there were mobile loos for the attendees. However, there were very few which led to a lot of inconvenience for attendees. Women were especially affected and there were unnecessarily long queues.

The food and beverage providers at the event were very few. The providers were overwhelmed and this meant that getting drinks and food took so long. It is important to note however that the drinks and food at the event were very well priced.

Security inside the event was also wanting and people were also robbed of their valuables at the event.

The good

The music at the event was top class. The Kenyan acts at the event were especially amazing. Konshens came on at around 2am and he brought the house down. This was one of the few redeeming qualities of the event.

In my opinion, because the event location was large, the organizers should have put more screens at the event so that more people could be able to enjoy the event regardless of where they were.

The confusing

In light of complaints of the event, the organizers have gone ahead to discredit and downplay the security lapses. They attributed the complaints about the same to just hating which is very insensitive. G Money (Conrad Gray), a partner of the event, went ahead to claim that those complaining were over 30 and shouldn’t have been at the event anyway. This is a complete disregard of the attendees’ experience.

The organizers have also claimed that 13,000 people attended the event. How can they know how many people attended the event when they did not verify tickets?

Conclusion

The event organizers focused too much on the music and forgot about the comfort and security of the attendees. There was a lot of risk to the attendees and it doesn’t look like the organizers cared.

The kind of security lapses that happened at the event are very serious and could have been fatal. In 2014, at the Smirnoff Experience, 3 people died after there was a stampede at the event. You would then expect that the organizer could at least apologize and promise to do better next time.

This particular organizer has a history of events with similar problems and it is unfortunate that they haven’t learned from past events. At the Tekno Concert in 2017, there was also a stampede, lax security and an awful drinks buying experience.

The general vibe of the organizers is that some people generally had a good time at the event and that’s all they care about. This stance is quite unfortunate and it doesn’t give inspire confidence for future events. It is my hope that the organizer can at least apologize and affirm their commitment in making future events better and safer for attendees.

Event organizers have the responsibility of ensuring the safety and comfort of attendees. This includes everything from safety inside and outside, provision of enough sanitary facilities and of course sufficient food and beverage stations. This is what will make them want to come to future events. It is important to note that other larger events held in Kenya have been able to provide so this is not un-achievable.

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