FANTASTIC! Fabulous! Amazing! Wonderful! Beautiful! are some of the words patrons used to describe the first-ever Kariba Music Festival held in Siavonga last weekend.
Eagles Rest Resort was the location for the memorable festival that took place over the Easter holiday.
Zambia's top musical talents including veteran Maureen Lupo Lilanda, Mutinta, Cactus Agony, Mumba Yachi, Impi, Mathew Tembo, Salma Dodia, Scarlet, Shadrach, Namvula, and Kapiri Mposhi Top Rank Suite among others put up charismatic and spirited performances during the three-day festival.
On the first day, the turnout was moderate as most patrons were just arriving and busy looking for the scarce accommodation around the town. However, the festival peaked on Saturday as patrons sang along, danced and skunked to the different live performances.
Musicians such as award winning 'Sir' Jones Kabanga, Uncle James, Jerry Fingers, Chali Chucks, Eric, Philip were not left out of the fun as they added spice to the festival.
With lots of other activities and good food besides music, everyone seemed to have had a great time.
Sunday saw a smaller audience but live performances continued into the wee hours of Monday.
A bonus community-concert was staged at the Zesco grounds on Monday to allow masses to watch their favourite artistes perform for free.
Bongwe Safaris and Inzy Music, organisers of the event, described the festival as successful.
"We are more than satisfied; the artistes were outstanding, and it was fantastic. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves, said Bongwe Safaris manager Stacey Cole in an interview.
Organisers hope the festival, meant to showcase and promote Zambian talent, will become an annual event.
And Siavonga district commissioner Brave Mweetwa said the festival had come at the right time when the government was working hard to promote Siavonga as a tourist destination.
Mweetwa said the PF government would continue to work with the private sector in the district to ensure that Siavonga becomes the tourist capital of Zambia within 10 years.
He said the Kariba Music Festival would encourage investment and bring tourism to the district.
The Kariba Musical Festival and community concert was organised by Zambia Tourism Board, Bongwe Safaris and Inzy Music.
Some people who travelled for Easter weekend in Siavonga spent nights in their motor vehicles due to insufficient accommodation in the area.
Hotels and lodges were fully booked by last Thursday.