3 Crazy Concerts That Got Kenyans Talking

  • Kenya is widely considered the leading Reggae destination in Africa. This comes as no surprise given the long-running popularity Reggae music has enjoyed and the deep influence it has had on aspects of the Kenyan culture.

    Over the years, Nairobi, in particular, has played host to several international stars of the genre.

    Big names in Reggae and Dancehall such as UB40, Chris Martin, Tarrus Riley, Chronixx, Etana and Konshens have all headlined major shows in the country in the past two years.

    While numerous Reggae events have taken place, varying levels of success in terms of planning and organisation have been witnessed.

    Dancehall star Konshens during his performance at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi in November 2019

    Once upon a time, Reggae concerts were derided as hangouts for city lowlifes as the shows were associated with harassment and crime.

    Much greater effort has since gone into these events, however, and many Nairobians from all walks of life nowadays troop to Reggae concerts in their numbers.

    Chronixx’ show at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in July 2018, for instance, is one of the most memorable concerts held in the country in recent history.

    The Grammy-nominated artist’s stellar performance that lasted over two hours capped an incredible event that featured great organisation.

    In a past interview, Chronixx admitted that Kenyans were his biggest fans after Jamaicans.

    Not all recent reggae events have been without blemish, however, as chaotic scenes have been witnessed in a number of recent events.

    When Chris Martin staged a show at the Impala Grounds in December 2019, organisers were forced to apologise to revelers after several attendees reported theft and harassment.

    Although he delivered a great, high-octane performance, Martin himself later apologised for the unpleasant scenes at the show.

    "I’d like to extend my sincerest apologies to those affected by those criminals who targeted my awesome supporters," the Weekend Love star tweeted.

    Organisers of the Konshens performance in September 2019 also had to apologise as they came under fire for a  stampede witnessed at the Ngong Racecourse grounds on the night of the concert.

    Tickets were rendered irrelevant as revelers rushed past the gates in a chaotic free-for-all scenario.

    Konshens’ performance went smoothly but social media the next morning was filled with complaints from attendees who decried the lack of organisation.

    In 2020, the highly-anticipated performance by Grammy-award winning artist Buju Banton at the KICC slated for Saturday, February 15 has been billed as the concert of the year.

    The star is expected to thrill fans with his endless collection of classic hits such as Hills and Valleys and Destiny as well as more recent releases including Holy Mountain which features DJ Khaled.

    NRG Radio, the media company behind the event, assured revelers of an incredible night having gone all out to avoid challenges that have affected past shows.

    A representative from the company in charge of the event, who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke, reiterated that enough preparations had been made to avoid any potential pitfalls, promising to deliver an unforgettable event.

    “Everyone attending can rest assured that they will be safe and they will have the best possible experience at the event. We have not left anything to chance.

    “We have also contracted G4S for security and we’ve put arrangements in place to ensure amenities for revelers are easily accessible. It's going to be a great event,” he affirmed.

    Tickets are available by dialling *229*99# or on ticketing platforms Mookh and M-Tickets. Special packages have been designed to suit your needs such as the 'Girlentines' and 'Mens' Conference' offers in which you can buy two regular tickets and get one free all for Ksh 4,000.

    A poster for the NRG Wave: Legends Edition concert featuring Buju Banton scheduled for Saturday, February 15