Bulawayo’s Large City Hall has proved to be a dungeon for artists, with both locals and internationals failing to draw reasonable crowds at the open space venue.
South African hip-hop star Cassper Nyovest, who last year filled the 20 000-seater TicketPro Dome in his home country, failed to gunner large numbers at his concert in Bulawayo on Friday as compared to his previous shows in Zimbabwe.
Less than 700 people came to watch the Tito Mboweni hit maker.
Four shows held at the Large City Hall in recent days have failed to live up to expectations. First it was Jamaican star Busy Signal’s concert, which ended prematurely due to crowd trouble.
The second show held at the same venue that was a flop featured top artists – Jeys Marabini, Sandra Ndebele, Madlela, Cal_Vin and Khuliyo, among others.
South African kwaito artist Babes Wodumo also fell into the same predicament after her much-publicised show at the Large City Hall car park failed to attract numbers, prompting organisers of the show – 2 Kings Entertainment – to open gates for everyone to get in for free.
Friday’s concert started off on a low note, with local supporting acts Guluva Se7en and Asaph performing before a handful crowd.
The numbers swelled when Cassper Nyovest took to the stage and clad in a grey track suit, the self-proclaimed king of rap received wild cheers from the crowd that had broken down the barricade and stormed into the VIP area to get a glimpse of the rapper.
Although the sound was not top notch, Cassper Nyovest continued with his set, belting out songs such as Push Through The Pain, Ngud, Malome and completed his less than an hour set with the crowd’s favourite Tito Mboweni.
The Large City Hall car park has been the most preferred venue for most promoters after Bulawayo City Council (BCC) banned night shows at the Amphitheater.
However, the venue, which is in the city centre, has not done any good for promoters – with poor attendances, violence, looting of drinks and food, cars being broken into, stealing the limelight from the shows.
BCC senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said the Large City Hall was just like any other venue.
“Council approved the use of the Large City Hall car park for alternative purposes, including musical shows in March 2014. Since then, a number of shows have been successfully held at the venue. The place is safe like any other venue. It has hosted a number of shows, which have ended without riots,” she said.
To curb future chaos during shows, Mpofu said, “Promoters should ensure that revellers get the service that they were promised.”