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Miombo Magic

Top Zim bands to light up Miombo Magic fest

Following the recent success of HIFA, Zimbabwe’s music lovers are in for another treat as they look forward to Miombo Magic on the weekend of 30-31 May. The two-day music festival with on-site camping takes place in the stunning setting of Christon Bank, Mazowe, 30km north of Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. It is a beautiful area of rocky hillsides and lush woodland that makes for a magical bush festival venue.

Miombo Magic began in 2012 and has since grown attracting thousands of foreign and local revellers. The name Miombo is the word used to describe the woodlands that characterise much of the Zimbabwean highveld where the festival is set. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever, with no fewer than 20 of Zimbabwe’s top young bands set to perform in this unique bush venue.

Confirmed artists include Mokoomba, the fast-rising stars from Vic Falls; Jam Signal, another hi-energy jazz-funk-dance band; Afro-pop singer Ammara Brown, daughter of the late legend Andy Brown; jazz saxophonist Vee Mukarati, back from his studies in Ireland; Drum Café, the biggest live act in Zimbabwe with 400 drummers and one pulsating beat; Evicted, winners of the Zimbabwean 2014 Battle of the Bands; and Rob Burrell, frontman of Mann Friday. Also on the bill areVictor KunongaTariro neGitare; Gemma Griffiths; Fiddelicious; Alexio Kawara and the Shades of Black; Kamikaze Test Pilots; Chikwata 263 and DJ Toby2Shoes, among others.

In an interview with The Herald, Miombo Magic artistic director Gus Le Briepon promised a memorable event. “The preparations are complete. Everything is done and we are just waiting for the opening day of the festival,” he said. “We have new artistes who will be performing for the first time, the likes of Alexio Kawara, Ammara Brown, Victor Kunonga and a lot more…We are encouraging people to come in their numbers to join us have fun with a wide range of musicians doing what they know best.”

Income from Miombo Magic helps the local Christon Bank Primary School, which is severely under-resourced. In 2014 the festival provided for the purchase of desks and chairs for the kids. This year they want to build a new teacher’s house. Every dollar spent at the festival helps to achieve this. The school was actually the original motivation behind the festival. “The main motive of the festival when we launched it in 2012 was to raise funds to build an extra classroom at Christon Bank Primary and I am happy that we were successful,” added Gus.

Tickets prices range from $30 for a day ticket to $50 for a full weekend pass. Children under 6 can come for free, while kids age 6 to 12 years old are $20 each, whether they’re in for the day or the weekend. Come and join the feel-good family vibe – bring your tent, your kids, your zany festival clothes and prepare to have fun – because you will! Gates open at 10 am on Saturday 30 May and close at sunset on Sunday 31 May.