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REVIEW: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Stonebwoy’s Ashaiman To The World Festival

On Saturday, September 3rd, Ghanaian dancehall heavyweight, Stonebwoy staged the 9th edition of “Ashaiman To The WorldConcert at the usual Saka Saka park in Ashaiman.

Stonebwoy on stage at Ashaiman To The World Concert

The heavily publicized and much anticipated free concert headlined and initiated Stonebwoy saw a lot of highs amidst moments of lows.

Arguably the biggest outdoor event, Ashaiman To The World Festival is designed by Stonebwoy and his team as a thank you to the people who were and are still very instrumental on his musical journey.

Stonebwoy heavily prides himself to hail from slums of Ashaiman to traveling all over the world entertaining 1000s of people.

This year’s edition saw the event transitioning from just a concert to taking a festival form with other events leading to the concert.

Stonebwoy and his Burninton Music Group and other partners started the festival with a clean up exercise where Stonebwoy entered the gutter with his fans to clean the gutters and educated them on cleanliness.

There was a community soccer gala. Teams from Ashaiman competed among themselves for the ultimate trophy, bragging rights among many other rewards.

There were exhibitions and other skills training activities to equip many with technical knowledge to take up entrepreneurship, highly commendable.

On that very Saturday of the biggest activity on the itinerary, the concert, I got to Saka Saka park about quarter to 6PM. With previous experiences, I learnt a lesson, park on the motorway and face the direction of your exit. I did just that.

As at my arrival, finishing touches were being applied to the stage and the technical officers were testing their microphones and other gadgets. Vendors were as usual going about their selling, some performers were backstage checking things out and connecting with each other. There were few security personnel on the ground to maintained law and order. The people of Ashaiman and other parts of the country also starting trouping in to catch a better spot to enjoy the performances. Who wouldn’t love a free show?

Set Up

The stage set up delayed. As as 7:15pm, the stage wasn’t raised to its level. It was still down whiles works were being completed. When it finally came up, there it was, firm and holding up lights and other gadgets. The backdrop was perfectly placed from where I sat. The band occupies their spot and the Dj stand was seated well. It is one of the most simple yet detailed stage I have seen in recent times.

The Band

Sound

When I heard the Mc or whoever was testing the sound and microphones, I whispered to my plus one saying “this must be Radio 7” and low and behold, they were in charge. The sound was so good you could hear lyrics and instrumentations loud and clear. Through out my time there, there was not any low moments with regards to sound, although they started testing the sound and microphones a bit too late.

Lights

With lights, I think the production team got it all wrong. Much focus was centered on the stage than the whole park. The light on the stages played their role well. Performers can be seen well and it added magic with the rotations and colors. On the other hand, notorious people took advantage of the inadequate lightening of the park to perpetuate their evil deeds. They robbed, snatched and injured some innocent concert attendees. I think if there were enough lights all over the place, it will deter them from doing such evil to others.

Stonebwoy

Security

The men in uniform were heavily present on and around the park to maintain law and other. I witnessed about 3 suspects being interrogated and arrested by the police. It is rather unfortunate some got away with their crimes. It is just fair to say the crowd outnumbered the Police Force, the Army and the Fire Fighters all together. The lights around the place didn’t help either.

Attendance

I will not be far from wrong if I say about 20,000 people turned up for the concert. The park was heavily packed. Others had to enjoy the should from the motorway and some had to climb on trees and other high object to catch a glimpse of what was happening on the stages. Indeed, it was a free show, very much expected.

Performances

There were some great performers on that stage. Among the many up-and-coming performers, Keeny Ice stood out for me. He had the crowd paying attention and highly engaging. It is very commendable that this time, they all performed to the live band. A great way to prepare them for greatness. Kudos to Master Garzy and the team who planned and executed the brilliant idea.

Empress Gift

To the mainstream performers, I didn’t witness many. I left some few minutes after Stonebwoy had climbed the stage. I was worried about my safety and had to call it a day but from reviews and videos I’ve seen online, I think they were great performances. Empress Gifty wowed with her tight costume exposing a lot and her dance moves made things shake.

Overall, Ashaiman To The World Festival was a huge success amidst the few low points. I think the organizers should consider a whole lot of other factors to make this festival very safe and exciting to attend.

Photo Credit: Qrative Eye Studios

Source: Fredrick Kofi Deladem Dro (Talking GH)

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