FRANCISTOWN: The eve of Christmas Day has never been the same since the birth of Palapye Clap Your Hands (CYH) Festival in 2001.
The euphoria has been simmering and with the countdown to the festivities well underway the cloud of the coveted festival is gathering.
Seven years down the line December 24 for Palapye has been marked on the calendar as the one-day-only session.
It is a day that revellers from the furthest corners of the country converge in the vibrant village to celebrate the night of good music and a rare opportunity to come within arm’s-length with favourite artists.
The festival started at Botsalo Hotel. It ran alongside Orange Monyaka Tour held at the same venue, but three days earlier. Monyaka later ceased three years ago.
The two festivals charged the festive nightlife in Palapye that previously relied on modest entertainment at the Palapye Community Hall and the village nightclub.
In the inaugural year CYH was without a name. It was just another Palapye festival with household artists of the moment. Very rarely the juicy line up at that time was inclusive of a South African act.
Clappers as the festival is known to its horde of supporters inaugurated with Zakes Bantwini. Bantwini lived up to expectations on the drizzling night and rocked the 2001 revellers that thronged the festival with his Clap Your Hands hit song.
The hit became what the revellers could remember of the 2001 Christmas Eve with Flambouyant, the organisers of the festival, naming the Palapye festival after the hit song.Second edition was held at the same venue and like the inaugural edition it was packed beyond expectation.
Again the organisers brought the artists that were the ‘in-thing’ at the moment and that has become a culture synonymous with the festival. Consecutive editions came and went as the festival grew better each time.
Artists such as KO of Caracara hit song, Busie of Easy To Love, Shota of Ben Ten, Black Coffee, DJ Tira, Emtee to mention a few have performed on that stage.
Merchandise associated with the festival that is never short of taste because of the creativity it carries has year in and year out flown like fat cakes.
In the previous editions CYH moved venues from Botsalo to the lush, Majestic Five Hotel.
The last event, however, was moved to Nkau farm, a stone’s throw away from the Morupule B Power Plant on the Palapye/Serowe road.
Flambouyant has gone out of its way to transform the farm with an immediate construction of a swimming pool to meet the theme of the sixth edition’s Crazysexycool.
The then theme, tropical island style, was inclusive of bikinis and cocktails alongside the pool area.
It pulled in a showstopper attracting an increased crowd of 7,500 revellers.
This time around the show has stepped up a gear for the festive season at the same venue now dubbed the Flambo Park. It returns with a LaVidaLoca lifestyle theme, which according to the festival spokesperson Tshimologo Bonang means, ‘living a fun life young, wild and free.’
The D-day opens with a pond play and a camp chair chill session that starts in the morning until early evening when the afternoon session makes way for a crazy fiesta stage. The seventh edition line up is inclusive of award-winning South African artists making headlines across the region of recent.
Prince Kaybee will become the sole foreign artists to have ever made a return when he throngs the CYH stage for the second time. He comes alongside Durban’s hot property Big Nuz, songstress Lady Zamar and their compatriot Sun el Musician the Akanamali hitmaker.
Local top artists such as Scar, Dramaboi, MMP Family and Darkboy Massey amongst a host of others and tens of local DJs are also lined up for the concert.
CYH has also been in a drive to register members for their fan club.
The club membership carries rewards that will in future see members get discounts in different sale spots,and on merchandise and entrance tickets.
Bonang said the sound that in the past has been a monkey on their back due to disappointments by their suppliers has been resolved. He said they have engaged suppliers of repute to elucidate the problem.
“Our supporters have been patient with us in that regard and last year they were happy with our sound but still we have engaged our supplier to ensure that he is ahead of the game, we can’t tolerate a mistake in this department ever again.”
He assured that issues of security have also been stepped up. He said when security issues became a hot topic this year they had moved to reputable companies that they can easily hold to account. “Security has never been a problem for us, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We want to mantain peace at our shows. We are expecting over 7,000 people and we have increased security numbers to meet our crowd,” he said.