6 Things You Definitely Heard at Blankets & Wine

By Malcolm Bigyemano

September 30, 2015

By now, Blankets & Wine is well established on Kampala’s social calendar and is kind of a big deal. The 10th edition of the tri-annual outdoor festival went down on the 27th of September at the Uganda National Museum, pulling a huge crowd for an afternoon of wholesome fun that turned into a slightly more debaucherous night. Here is what people were talking about at Kampala’s 10th Blankets And Wine.

6.“Can you imagine how much crazier this would be if it were Blankets & Waragi?”

Wine creates a vibe. There is something about the stronger-than-beer but not-as-strong-as-a-spirit beverage that creates an atmosphere that is at once less inhibited and yet not quite completely unhinged.

It creates a warm, laid back ambience when it is the primary beverage of choice and creates a vibe that most people gravitate to even if they may not like drinking wine itself.

Blankets And Wine might as well have been Blankets and Whiskey or Blankets And Waragi, given the diversity of drinks consumed, but the atmosphere remained heavy with the blissful lethargy specific of wine.

That is, of course, until it got dark. The picnics started to disintegrate and disappear altogether and the front of the stage turned into a gentle and beautiful mosh pit.

5.“Eh Mama have you seen the *insert corporate entity* tent?”

Blankets and Wine made a provision for a number of vendors in tents lining the venue ranging from well-known restaurants to charming artisans peddling beverages, a wide variety of savory treats and hats.

So many hats.

Alongside these, of course, were corporate hospitality tents flexing to provide a more luxurious experience for guests and associates adjacent to the festivities.

Blankets And Wine, however, is largely an open-air picnic with live musical guests, and the vast majority of revellers turned out incredibly prepared.

The centre of the venue was a mushroom field of umbrellas, camping chairs, picnic baskets and bottles laid out on more Maasai blankets than you might ever see in one place outside of Maasai Mara. It was a beautiful spectacle to behold- and so were the people…


4.“Kyoka Ugandans can put on!”

As soon as you sat down and took a look around, the first thing you noticed was how very threatening those grey clouds above were to the afternoon’s proceedings.

Then you noticed the density of beautiful people in the crowd and how so very well dressed everybody was.

How much effort revellers put into looking their best on a Sunday afternoon is definitely a marker of how prestigious an event is. Then again, maybe nobody wanted to risk being trashed in the newspaper in the coming week for coming through looking meh.

It has become that kind of event; it gets that kind of coverage.

3.“You’ve never been to the Kenyan one?”

Every party has that one person who is convinced that they have been to a much cooler party than the one you are at, so as you enjoy yourself, they won’t let you forget that they’ve been to better. Tumbavu.

That person at Blankets & Wine X will usually be someone who has been to the Kenyan event and can’t help but tell everyone having a good time that they don’t know what they’re missing.

Be that as it may, the Ugandan version of Blankets and Wine always has been and continues to be an undisputedly good time in its own right.

2.“A-Pass has more than three songs?”

The opening acts were Solome, a new voice on the scene, whose performance powered through the momentary drizzle and was later joined by up-and-comer K!mera who crooned a few musical numbers of his own.

Apass, one of the headlining acts is definitely on a roll in the Ugandan scene. He has a couple of songs on heavy rotation on the radio that had the crowd on their feet, swaying in unison to Wuuyo.

He later joined Lilian Mbabazi on stage for a duet as she too wowed the crowd with her experienced live performance chops.

1.“I don’t know what she’s saying, but I love this kind of music!”


She strolled onto the stage just after dark, a thick mane of curly hair cascading past her shoulders. South African singer-songwriter Zahara, the headlining act of the latest edition of Blankets and Wine is kind of a big deal and she showed why.

Armed with an acoustic guitar and backed up by an experienced band, she belted her way through a medley of original songs and covers. She surprised the crowd with a powerful rendition of Brenda Fassie’s Vudlela and raised hands everywhere with a cover of Keisha White’s Weakness In Me.

However, it is Lengoma, her 2011 hit with DJ Sbu that brought the house down and finished her set with revellers singing lyrics they didn’t seem sure about.

It was like watching a telenovela on Bukedde TV where the words and the lips never match. It was a little surreal.

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