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Steve and Emma's Travel Tales

The Music Festival with no Music

UGANDA | Saturday, 22 November 2014 | Views [425]

The last time we were in Entebbe we picked up a flyer for a world music festival to be held in the Botanical Gardens in Entebbe, so we thought that sounded like something worth checking out. We reckoned we would use it as an excuse to get out of Kampala for the weekend and stay over.

The flyer stated that the festival would begin at 2pm so we thought it would be nice to spend the afternoon by Lake Victoria listening to a few tunes. We had a decent drive down to Entebbe and the traffic was not as bad as it can be. We arrived at Airport Guest House to find they didn’t have our booking and they tried to shove us in the annexe in a room with no bathroom. I pointed out we had booked an en suite room but she said we could have this room for 5 dollars less, erm think we would prefer to pay the extra $5 and have our own ablutions facility. She finally decided we could have the room we had booked. Why do I bother to book anything in Uganda in advance?

We strolled into town and had lunch as Anna’s Corner which was ok but nothing special before heading down to the botanical gardens for the festival. Well as we made our way down the hill we didn’t see crowds of festival-goers marching to the gardens or see any banners or signs announcing that anything was going on. Any sound of music was also conspicuous by its absence too.

We persevered and when we got to the gate we asked hopefully if there was a music festival happening and they said ‘yes it is just about the start’. Ok, we paid our 10,000 shillings a head to get in which is the same as getting the gardens normally, so we were not going to lose much if the festival was not quite along the lines of Glastonbury! The guy on the gate recommended that we take a tour before the music began. I think he meant of the gardens but as it turned out it could have been a tour of Uganda.

We heeded his advice and went for a stroll around the gardens at which point we noticed that the stage was just starting to be put together! The 2 pm start must have meant they started to construct the stage at this time. After our wander round the grounds we had a couple of beers by the lake which was lovely, watching the birds and enjoying a rare day of sunshine. 3 hours after entering the festival there was still no sound of any music but at least there was a drum kit on the stage by now. They were still varnishing the chairs for people to sit on so we guessed things would not get going till much much later. We decided to head to the Red Rooster Sports Bar and watch the football. As we were heading out, the guard could not believe we were leaving as the music was just about to start!



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