Blankets & Wine delivered a one-of-kind festival on Sunday, April 10th, 2016 at The Ngong Racecourse Waterfront that heralded its glorious return.
With gates open at 11am, the 3,000 attendees were welcomed by MC Mugambi Nthiga and treated to an unforgettable culinary, fashion, art and musical experience that kicked off with a conversation on stage amongst Just A Band, Mayonde and Muthoni the Drummer Queen.
Topics ranged from JAB’s final concert later that afternoon, Mayonde’s growth as a solo artist and Muthoni the Drummer Queen's vision for her music and the festival; giving early attendees an insight into what makes each artist tick.
Listen to MDQ, Just A Band + Mayonde in Conversation.
Even as EA Wave DJ, Jinku took over the stage afterwards with his Bonkerz Mix, his counterparts Ukweli and Nv Funk were thoroughly entertaining revelers through the Silent Disco playing over wireless headphones with four channels and a Bluetooth range of upto 100 meters.
This meant wherever the 100 headphone-wearing attendees were onsite: browsing the fashion pop-up stores, getting a live sketch by Naddya--to whom Drawing is her home--purchasing a flower crown from Maua Jua, buying a drink at the B&W x EABL liquor store run by 2socBar; they were immersed in a singular and personal yet communal world of music. A world that was later infused with amazing imagery bouncing off the ceiling of the Silent Disco area curated by visual art, Bazil Ngode who also provided each artists’ background images on stage.
Adele Dejak, Bongosawa x Hadithi, Blankets & Wine x Afri-na-ladi, Own Your Culture, Republik and Gonzala Leathers were running fashion pop-up stores where attendees could enjoy upto 50% discounts between 11am and 3pm.
The live music sets were high-energy, flawless productions merging music, dance and emotion that had the audience on their feet and later, begging for encores. From Mayonde to Just A Band to Muthoni the Drummer Queen, each Kenyan artist displayed the barrier-breaking qualities and unmistakable global appeal that underpins the thinking behind Blankets & Wine lineups going forward.
Aloe Blacc was backed by some of Kenya’s finest musicians including Joe Were, Chris Bittok, Christine Kamau, Kato Change, Sedar Malaki, Richard Wandati plus background vocalists Joan Sarah, Grace Wacira and Janet Nyakhayo. He played a soulful 75-minute set that featured 16 songs drawn from his vast catalogue of music. In one of three encores, Aloe performed a silky cover of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.
The April edition of Blankets & Wine was made possible thanks to support from PAWA 254, Nairobi Serena, Mdundo, Hello Food, Nairobi County, Live Live Nairobi, Easy Taxi, Go Gaga Experiential, PRC, Zuri Bridal, Ciroc, SwedKen, NTV, The Trend, Mo Sound, MCSK and KK Facilities Management.
Blankets & Wine is now a quarterly festival run by GoodTimes Africa. The next edition is slotted for July 2016.