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St Louis summer fest back after 2018 hiatus

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
The festival is expected to be hosted sometime next month. PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
One of the biggest music festivals in Botswana the St Louis Summer Fest is set to make a return after a year's break.

The last show was held in 2017 and the then trendy Nigerian music superstar, Davido, headlined alongside Nasty C and ATI.

Although it was a success then, the owners of the show, Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) did not host it last year after local promoters allegedly lodged a complaint against them with the Competition Authority (CA).

Promoters adamantly expressed their concerns in what they deemed as unfair competition on KBL’s part.

KBL’s St Louis Summer Fest was mainly targeted at promoting Botswana’s first local lager, St Louis and all a person had to do was to buy a case of the beer and get two free entry tickets. Although KBL was pushing their alcohol sales with the festival, promoters felt that the beer brewing company was using its dominant position in the liquor sale industry to exercise unfair competition.

Local promoters reached out to the CA which is responsible for monitoring, controlling and prohibiting anti-competitive trade or business practices in the economy.

Now making a return, it is not clear how KBL would do the fest this time around to push both sales and the assuage of irate promoters in terms of ticket sales, but a strategy to bring back the festival is in full swing.

Information reaching Arts & Culture is that KBL is still negotiating on whom to identify as the headline act from abroad. 

According to an inside source, the festival is expected to be hosted some time next month.  KBL is said to have first opted for a certain popular American Hip Hop and R&B star, but is

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also looking at other options. 

This will be the sixth edition of the festival having been established in 2012.

The event has been primarily meant to promote St Louis, the lager that has offered longer lasting refreshment in Botswana’s hot climate since 1989.

But the festival might now include and also promote St Louis Export, which was re-launched as the newly improved, richer, fuller tasting beer late last year.  St Louis Export was making its long-awaited return after it was discontinued a few years back.

Now with two lagers under the St Louis brand, it will be interesting to see how KBL has perfected the St Louis Summer Fest.

It has over the years been held under the ‘Keeping It Fresh’ tagline, which inspired Batswana to find celebration in every moment and represents a new generation that celebrates the positive, inspiring and sociable spirit that defines Batswana.

The festival also seeks to create a point of differentiation to deliver the mood by orchestrating befitting environments where the right people come together, at the right place, with the right music and entertainment.

Since the festival was discontinued, KBL has been pushing Botswana’s version of Castle Lite Unlocks.  The last Castle Lite Unlocks was held at Cigar Lounge in Phakalane in June.

Similarly tickets for the event were not for sale, but rather all customers had to do was to buy a case of Castle Lite 340ml to share with friends.

In terms of attendance, St Louis Summer Fest and GIMC festival have been the biggest music events in Botswana in recent years.



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