By: Moboluwarin Ogunleye
Last week, I went to a tour concert at the University of Ibadan SUB pitch with a friend of mine, to see CKay, a Nigerian singer and songwriter perform live.
The concert was scheduled to begin by 4 pm, but when I got to the venue by 4:30 pm, I observed that the organizers were not ready to start the concert as they were still running sound-checks and setting up the stage and the lights. I also observed that none of the vendors had set up their stands yet. So I assumed (correctly) that the concert wasn’t going to begin anytime soon and I left.
We came back later around 8 pm. When we arrived, we went straight to the gate to try to enter the concert. There were quite a few people at the gate, but they didn’t form a queue. So we joined the foray to try and show our tickets to the bouncer at the gate. The ticket fee was relatively cheap and affordable, as we got ‘early bird’ tickets to the concert which was supposed to cost 500 naira, but on final purchase on the website, cost about 617 naira. At the gate, we were informed by the bouncer that we would need to go to the ticketing stand to scan our e-tickets for wrist-bands to be allowed in. So we went to the ticketing stand, again crowded but with no queue. So we hustled our way to the front and got the wrist-bands with relative ease.
When we got in, my first observation was about how scanty the place seemed, sure there was a fair amount of people there, but on a field as large as the sub field they just appeared little. Some people were scattered across the field in different groups enjoying the music from a distance, but as you moved closer to the stage there was a sizable crowd gathered to enjoy the music from the D-J. The concert arena was very well lit, as despite the nighttime I could clearly see my friends and the other people present at the concert. Apparently, by the time I got there. The concert had already been ongoing for about an hour. They started with local performances.
The local performances were nice; there was nothing particularly remarkable about them, but they tried their best to get the crowd excited. Some of the local performances include; Teibo David, and Tolu Daniels among others. I did notice that the organizers took preference to upcoming artists from Lagos rather than those from the University, as local up-and-coming artists from the school such as Ory G, who was earlier scheduled to perform, wasn’t eventually given the chance to. After Tolu Daniels performance, the mc called onto the stage; the rising star, YKB. YKB is an artist gifted at crafting melodies and is a versatile artist. His music is a fusion of Afrobeats and Rnb, Trap music and Hip-hop. He performed his 2022 single, San Siro and his 2021 single, Alabama. His set was a really good one and was well received by the crowd, with them singing along and dancing to his sweet tunes.
After YKB’s set came Jaido P’s own. Jaido P, also a rising star in the music industry sings a blend of Afropop, Nigerian Street music and Afrobeats. He sang his hit song from 2021, Cram. He also performed other songs; Queen and more. His set was also a relatively good one and like YKB was well received by the UI crowd. After this, an EDM group came to perform a set. And in my opinion, they made the concert 10 times better than EDM, Electronic Dance Music. Rather than designating a single genre, electronic dance music (EDM) encompasses styles ranging from beatless ambient music to 200-beats-per-minute hardcore. But what fascinated me the most about these guys was the fact that they had incorporated Nigerian music into what to me seemed like a foreign form of music.
During their set, we went to the back to the vendor canopies because we needed to get drinks and food. That point was what I’d like to call ‘the beginning of the end’. Strong winds suddenly started blowing. The winds were so strong that the screen on the stage fell down. Then the rain started. It wasn’t really bad at first, at that time it was a light drizzle but I could see people (mostly girls) already leaving. I guess they saw the rain as a sign of bad things to come, If only I had known.
Unfortunately for me, I ignored the signs of terror from the elements, and went back into the crowd as the EDM guys had finished their set and Broda Shaggi was on. He sang his own version of Asake’s yoga. His set was awesome and really fun, apart from singing, he made us laugh, asked people to ask him questions. And then, when he was leaving, sprayed money from his car. After Broda Shaggi, it was finally time for the reason we were there. Ckay’s hype man took the mic and we realized that Ckay had arrived.
The best way I’d describe clay’s time there is ‘anticlimactic’ . I wasn’t expecting much from him, but I was still disappointed. His hype man did his best to get the crowd ready for him. And after, Ckay ran onto the stage to begin his performance. He decided to begin his set by performing his 2022 song, watawi. While he was singing, I observed that he was extremely off beat and probably off-key. But luckily for me, I didn’t have to endure it much longer as the light drizzle that had started earlier started becoming heavier. At first, people were still dancing, reading to make the most of their night no matter what, but as time went on the rain became extremely heavy and we were all on a field, exposed to the elements. People started running to the stage, vendor canopies in search for shelter from the rain. About 30 minutes after taking shelter in one of the vendor canopies at the back of the field waiting for the rain to subside, we watched in shock as the cars that Ckay and the organizers brought started to leave, indicating an end to the show, before it had even begun. After he left, things just became worse as the winds started to blow away the top of the canopy I was under, a fight even broke out in the tent opposite to mine. After a while, we eventually ran to the nearest hostel to take cover as our current shelter was no longer enough.
To summize, I had a very bad experience at the concert and it was one of the worst I’d been to in a while. Prior to going I was informed that musical artists, Lojay and Blackbonez would be present. Unfortunately I saw no signs of that actually happening. And, I’d like to add that while it’d be convenient to blame the outcome on the unpredictable nature of the elements, the events of Saturday could have been avoided if the organizers had started the event early at 4pm like promised