Malawi’s biggest international arts event, the Lake of Stars Festival, is returning to its original home and will take place this year on the pristine white sands of Chintheche Inn on the northern lakeshore. The festival, which was recently voted one of the World’s Best Festivals in the Fest300 Awards, is being held from September 30 – October 2, 2016.
Since its inception in 2004, the annual event has brought its unique blend of local and international talent to all three regions of Malawi, helping to boost tourism across the country and generating over $4 million for the economy during that time.
Lake of Stars Director Will Jameson says:
“After five successful consecutive years in Mangochi, the move back up North to where the festival began is an exciting opportunity for us to reconnect with our roots and support the creative growth in the region. When I started the event in 2004 I always intended that it would be moved around the country so that different areas of Malawi could benefit from the boost in tourism, social outreach and economic benefits that the festival brings. The move is also designed to help keep the festival feeling fresh for the loyal audience that attend each year and allow them to experience the festival in a different location. Chintheche Inn is a stunning site which is more than capable of meeting the needs of the festival and is one of the most beautiful parts of the Lake. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to build on the partnership that we established in 2015 with Mzuzu University, focused around their Tourism and Events programme.”
Fans of the festival can expect three days of exciting local and international music and arts, set on the lush gardens and powder-soft sands of Chintheche Inn. Msati Mseke hit-maker Patience Namadingo, hip hop star Piksy who was recently nominated for ‘Best Male Southern Africa’ in the 2016 Kora All Arica Music Awards and Lusubilo Band from the Lusubilo Music centre based in Karonga will be among the many Malawian artists gracing the stages. Last year’s festival hosted the Scottish award-winning act Young Fathers and regional stars Uhuru, Toya Delazy and Ric Hassani alongside some of Malawi’s brightest performers including Gwamba, Lucius Banda and Dan Lu. In addition to the musical programme festival goers will enjoy a host of other entertainment from across the arts including poetry, theatre and dance.
In line with Lake of Stars’ strong tradition of engaging with the community within which it operates, an Outreach Programme will be established again this year, working closely with Central African Wilderness Safaris who manage Chintheche Inn, and local community leaders. In 2015, highlights included staging a free concert for the neighboring village and donating desks and benches to the local school made from wood recycled from the festival.