Wasn’t Nigerian rising star Ruger`s concert held on Sunday, 13th February 2022 at Dungu Resort supposed to knock us off our rockers? Yes it had to but the Dior singer hit the blank this time, ending what was meant to be an awesome show on a roller-coaster ride of shame.
To many who had time to care, this show was meant to happen on the 12th of February but almost everyone was shocked when it was cancelled by the Uganda Police who cited that the organisers had failed to meet basic security and safety standards.
“The organisers were given guidelines to follow, like having a traffic plan for the revellers, who are to attend the show, putting in place access control measures, liaising with the territorial police and informing them about the number of revellers they expect to attend, having an ambulance in place from a recognised hospital, putting in place measure of crowd control, and also obtaining clearance from the venue owner and local authorities. Unfortunately, they have failed to meet the guidelines prompting us to stop the event to avoid incidents that can lead to accidents and safety breach,” Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson said on Saturday but later the show was cleared by the same police but to happen a day after, that was yesterday(Sunday).
A clueless Ruger who had jetted in the Country on Wednesday night, hoping to bring Kampala in particular and Uganda in general at a standstill with a dance-heavy show was shocked to find less than 100 people in the VIP wing and 200 fans in the “general happiness section at the venue as largely compared to what everyone was expecting to see in the audience. It was the total opposite inducing a certain media company which was sponsoring this show to fill the gaps with some of their employees including journalists/reporters to save face when pictures are taken.
The few fans who managed to come through looked pretty bored and most of them were heard regretting why they wasted their cash and time on such a flop of a concert. At around 9pm, Ugandan artists who were set to curtain raise for Ruger were seen expressing shock that such a concert could hardly pull even 1000 music fans but nevertheless, they took to the floor, and temporarily charmed the audience.
It took the organizers an hour to bring Ruger on stage from his hotel room to perform. It’s yet unclear what had gone wrong but fans painfully waited for some hours to almost 11pm for Ruger to perform but in vain. That’s when word went around that Ruger had been alerted by his management that the venue was not even half-full and was reportedly uncomfortable singing for empty chairs. At long last, Ruger stormed the stage. He had nothing new apart from singing his two hit songs, Bounce and Dior among other mediocre songs.
The venue this show was held, Dungu resort has to be remembered by both Ugandans and Nigerians as it’s the same locus where the controversial concert by another Nigerian stars, Omah Lay and Tems was held in 2020 prompting a social media uproar where netizens wondered why a Nigerian artist performed in the Country yet Ugandan artists by the time were jobless since the lockdown that was imposed on their sector due to the outbreak of covid 19. This then led to the arrests of both artists who were produced in court and charged for violating Covid 19 regulations and spent a day at the infamous Kitalya maximum security prison.
Ruger`s flopped concert should come as a lesson to music concert organizers that they need to revise their marketing and promotion skills if they are to organise successful shows in the future. For this show, the fact that the whole population has just come out of the economic lockdown and that many Ugandans are rather choosing to reduce expenditure on luxury and entertainment, the fees that were charged to see Ruger perform, 100k was way too much and the flopping couldn’t have any rocket science in it.
Also, music organisers in Uganda should stop going for cheap, unappetizing one-hit wonder continental or international artists, instead of going for top-quality and proven ones. This explains why UB40, R Kelly, Akon, Sean Paul, Lucky Dube`s shows were among the best the Country has seen in recent history.