It’s really a great thing that festivals, shows, exhibitions and other urbane elements are growing cultures across African societies. Not only are such happenings essential to an ecosystem’s growth and public engagement, they also strike senses of unity and consciousness within the pool of people involved.
Saturday, the 5th of August 2017, Lucid Lemon’s ‘Lemon Curd’ was happening and nothing could stop me from getting a feel of the new age. Everyone that stopped to get a sight of how Ms Tomisin and her team designed the event irrespective of the clear odds, will definitely have been sure about what to expect.
It was a 12:00 PM affair but understand that Africans never disappoint when it comes to the urge to make a grand entrance. Because of the kind of person I am (my sleep, it’s important), I strolled into Muri Okunola Park at exactly 4:50 PM, but research and side talks. reassured me about my plans of having a fun time. ‘After all, the show hasn’t started’, a friend called out.
Maybe it had, but people probably didn’t get the point of segmenting an event, making the extreme newcomers/performers take the centre stage for hours by themselves, it wasn’t the right plugin.
The guys at Lucid Lemons should definitely put this into consideration in their next event; try to balance main performances with upcoming acts at proper intervals just so the attendees don’t tire out. Trust me, it was a lot of stress because people knew exactly what they came for.
Another thing, because of the complexity of the event, other activities like live exhibitions were done in front of the main stage, a decision that I believe wasn’t well thought out, you shouldn’t leave the crowd with too many haphazard options, Muri Okunola Park is quite spacious and also allows room for divisions so if I get tired of watching guys stroll around the stage, I should be able to move to an art arena, a photo stand or a book hub.
Back to the festival mood. It’s few minutes after 5 PM and things just got really lit.
‘Who’s the Guy?’
‘Barelyankhook’ I replied *on top of my voice*
And then two other ladies who weren’t involved in the discussion hopped over and shouted ‘oh my god, barelyankhook!!’
I remember seeing Yinka Bernie get on the stage, the vibe started making sense here. As we earlier envisaged, we were in for the best time of our lives.
By now, a rejuvenated crowd was already gathered at the prime, phones were up and hands went higher. Felt like everyone just got the freedom they were expecting.
From OmaMahmud to the exemplary display Fasina and GMK pulled up performing ADARA and then Prettyboy DO.
Dami Oniru and Remy Baggins also put the crowd on a trippy-kind of the cruise. Jazzz Atta didn’t fail to do the usual too.
At this time, even though many already exited the premises, a radical congregation had built up, chanting and jumping to every song, word for word.
Idris King did sing the national anthem [obviously I’m talking about SQUAD]; the highlight of that performance was when he got off the stage and made sure we all formed a chain.
Now, we were going to take a break, one or two after the other, people swayed around to reactivate, it was the best time to do so. Booths, vendors, fashion, more vendors and more food booths than I knew what to do with LL did a great job with the vendors, so many options; I got lime juice, Shawarma & fries, I had enough trees to blow so we headed to a corner to catch up on ourselves.
Not taking anything away from the organizers, I must add that the stage was almost at perfection, there were an awesome band and great lighting except that I’ve been arguing about the correlation between a stage’s size and its effect on the performers. Face it, there are only a few great acts who know damn well what to do on a stage; for many, it was probably their first time doing this, so you could see vacancy, maybe confusion in their eyes. Nevertheless, one could take from it a positive sign of the shoes to be filled.
Lanaire’s spoken words session was mind blowing, happy I met such a gem. Now groups were forming, everyone was talking. Hydrate and refuel, my biggest regret was coming for this show without a protein shake. You were either borrowing a lighter or screaming, simply because Lady Donli was about to be unveiled somewhere in the commercial capital city of Lagos, she was probably the reason why many came. The Rendition of ICECREAMwhich also saw Tomi Thomas come on stage took the show unto a whole new realm, for some reasons not known, I like to reiterate that I’m in love with Tomi’s dreads, like goals.
If there was one thing to regret about missing TheLemonCurd, best bet it was the reunion of LOS, yes it happened! I could almost feel the tears roll down my eyes, it’s crazy to see how deep the culture has grown, most interestingly, the organic margins involved.
From King Mufasa, LOS, Odunsi, to Wavy the creator, Showdemcamp, BOJand then Santi, things went spiritual because of the connection between the performers and the crowd.
If there was something to take home that day, it was the experience that stuck with me.
I saw strong, black, loud, unapologetic, free, honest, and loving youth. Regardless of where we found ourselves, devoid all forms of negative energy internally and externally, there was a strong force of coloured kids coming together, defying the norm and getting ready to take over the world, to fix Africa on a global scale. Kids that will stay outdoors until a life changing euphoria ended at 12:30 AM.
I saw power, I saw energy.
Despite the flaws, I really still look forward to another edition of The LemonCurd. It gets better, so they say.
Another highlight of the day was when a 16-year-old boy walked up to me and said: “How can you get me to perform at the next lemon curd?” — This alone was fulfilment, moments like this is what we fight for, to give the kids of the generation Z a somewhat defined path to follow on the way to their dreams, pierced somewhere around purpose and our need to regenerate the weak blocks that make up Africa.
Even as we grow together, as one voice whether at home or in the diaspora; we must realize that our unity is entrenched in love and peace as though we understand that our strength is in our diversity, and then we’ll see our Africa tick every box on the wishlist.
It’s wonderful events as such are popping around, the scene in Ghana is one I admire, also South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, to name a few.
We need to build more, we need to spark more conversations and build network bridges with our events. These things reinforce that doing it out, loud and happy is a great way to live. The future is about making boys and girls realize that they can be free, radical and liberal, from today.
Cheers to the guys at Lucid Lemons for pulling a great show amidst all the circumstances. Once you’ve given to the culture, the culture will always give back.
Finally, I would like to use this medium (no pun intended) to spill the beans on a specimen we’ve been incubating from our home studio. The team is planning to put together an extreme dance festival/rave for December, we call it FEEL THE MUSIC FESTIVAL, we really feel the need to invent a multicultural experience unifying the bridges of Africa and Africans through music, youth power, radicalism and freedom.
So, wait for it.
Profound networks and bridges that develop our structure… I’ll drink to that.
[ALL OTHER IMAGES SHOT BY AND1KAN]