THE Barefeet festival that ran for one week was not short of local entertainment. It showcased a host of Zambian music heavyweights as well as international actors who lit up an impressive stage set at the Gymkhana Club in the Lusaka Showgrounds.
The local artists performed last Friday and Saturday to mark the close of the festival. Friday particularly featured a star-studded local line-up with the likes of Zone Fam, Slap D, JK and Mampi.
The turnout was noticeably low for a festival, but that did not stop the artists from giving rousing performances that changed the vibe of what began as a slow festival night.
All the artists provided a steady build-up to the final show the next day, whose main feature was Nigerian afro-jazz artist Femi Kuti.
Uncle Rex and his band were on hand on Friday to provide backing to the various artists who were scheduled to perform.
The More Fire group, comprising artists from the United Kingdom, Holland, South Africa and Zambia combined drums, acrobatics and dance for an electrifying festival introduction.
Mampi was the image of colour with red hair and a yellow dress, churning hits such as Walilowelela and Swilili.
Dance Africa gave a special performance after Mampi’s time on stage which was centred on the Barefeet Festival’s 2015 theme ‘One Drum Many Beats’.
Zone Fam swayed the small audience by opening with the hit Mbama and followed it up with Boza and Loving You.
Though missing a member Jay Rox and Dope G, with support by rising star Wezi, were explosive on the night.
The hit Kontolola was performed following an audience request and they still had the crowd with Jay Rox’s Autopilot.
Other Friday highlights included JK and Slap D who hyped up the small audience and took time to engage it despite people not turning out in numbers.
Saturday’s music specials included Mumba Yachi and Uncle Rex and the Band. Both treated patrons to great folk and jazz that excited their ears.
Maureen Lilanda’s rendition of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud sounded strained, but she redeemed herself with her second piece which she churned out comfortably and which concluded her time on stage just in time for Saturday’s headliner, Femi Kuti.