Organisers of the Remmogo annual music celebrations, the brainchild of the Minister Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo 'DJ Tips' Olopeng says the decision to make this year’s show free entrance was not politically motivated.
The show would be held at the Tonota Showgrounds on Christmas Eve. Although the first two instalments of the music festival were also free, the 2017 edition had patrons forking out P50 for access.
DJ Tips, as Olopeng is affectionately called by most of the patrons of this, show is a parliamentary candidate for Tonota, and many people have seen the decision to make free entry to the show as a decision to gain political mileage.
The music festival was first staged during Olopeng’s first year in office and has been one of the most talked about happenings during the festive period, attracting large crowds.
In a telephone interview with Arts & Culture this week, one of the organisers Solly Reikeletseng said that the decision to declare the event free entrance “was not political and has nothing to do with elections”. “I would be very honest with you because I was there when we put together the concept. It was never a political event. It was set up when he (Olopeng) got into office. It was not set up for elections and the decision to allow free entrance was not because of the
Reikeletseng said that the decision to not to charge was because the venue for the show is big and allows for large crowds. “The show has always been free. Last year we didn’t get a bigger venue so the P50 entrance fee was just to control the crowd. This year, we have a bigger venue which would take everybody in, hence we decided to reverse the idea of charging patrons. The whole idea has got nothing to do with elections because this music festival is done out of the love of the people and music,” said Reikeletseng. Moreover, he said, as before, there would be no international acts as the minister wants to support and show belief in the local artists.
He said that the purpose of the event is also a thankgiving gesture to the people of Tonota for the hard work they do during the year as well as an opportunity for them to unwind, come together, network and celebrate their achievements.
The music festival is organised through the Thapelo Olopeng Foundation while other residents also make contributions.