Fans rocking out during the event
This was my first time at a Rocktoberfest. I had been ridiculed by friends for never attending any of the events despite being a “Fan of Rock” So it was pretty hard for me to miss Rocktoberfest 2017 while I was in Lagos. It was not a tough decision. It was a curious one.
I arrived the venue right on time, got my press pass [Look, Daddy, I made it]. Met the organizers had a brief chat. It was already 1 pm time to kick off, nothing had started yet and seemed they were working on sound.
The venue I must admit is a nice place, the stage was pretty big and was impressed they could score such a venue with little support. I decided to check out the merchandise for sale. They had pretty much everything, from Sex toys to Goth-themed bracelets, locally made sneakers and face painting. They had everything to make you feel in touch with the rock culture (Except for the toys, they made you feel more in touch with yourself)
It was a great atmosphere that was building up despite the event not starting yet this was past 2 pm already.
The show did not kick off until just about 5 pm and this made me wonder how they will fix up all the intending artists. This was going to be a nightmare for the organizers, well I just sipped on my drink and kept the camera clicking.
Now one important thing I observed, I noticed three sets of attendees to this rock festival
- The Curious Ones.
There were several people who came not because they are affiliated to rock, but because a friend invited them or they were there on a date, they had this constant stunned look while the other group of fans went bonkers when a favourite tune played.
- The Rock fans
My cousin who is not a rock fan said to me “Do all these people know themselves from somewhere?” well they sure did. The rock community in Nigeria thrives because of Whatsapp Rock Communities, Message boards and Facebook Groups. There are tiny close-knit societies and on days like this, they come out and wholesomely interact with one another. They come out of the shadows of their pretentious normal lives and show the world who they truly are. Living free and unbridled. It was a spectacle.
- The Stumble Upon / Passersby
The venue also houses several bars and relaxing spots, therefore some of the curious ones and several drawn by the music came around to peek at the event. It must be noted that most that I observed were foreigners. The had a stunned and bewildered look. It was fun looking at them, they weren’t sure who mesmerized them the most, the crowd or the performers. They had a good time obviously and I hope they try to attend other festivals.
Looking at the program line up, the first two names where those of fans who had some special rendition to make. I actually know the two of them personally and was not too sure of what they would bring to the table. A show is as good as the opening acts (Just coined that so don’t go looking for it). But when Chris started performing and blew the crowd away. He was awesome and he sounded like a long-time veteran. He carried the crowd along with each song. It was perfect I could not fault anything.
The second performance was just as awesome if not better, Ini was impressive very impressive and had the stage presence also. His charisma was appealing and his renditions, faultless.
Other performances were just as awesome as the first, each bringing a brand-new flavour to the show. XTsamurai who I have been a huge fan of for years I finally got to talk to him and do some crazy fan moves 😉
Clay, David Rhino, 1LastAutograph, Celeste, Johnny Drille, Zainab Sule, Nathmac, and so on all blew the crowd away with cover songs and played their own songs. The crowd never lost the connection with the performers and it was a love tale from the beginning to the end.
The sad part is how late into the Night fans waited and how much they wanted to be involved in the Chester Tribute. It was hard to take, but the night was one you can’t be told about and you just had to experience first hand.
A quick shout out to the DJ, he made the interlude between performances fun. There was no dull moment at all.
Minus the timing, which needs to be worked on, the show was a HIT, it was a true festival of rock. It was a battle of bands and performances. I felt alive in a social gathering (I hardly feel that) I felt connected to a family larger than myself. We were all connected by the music, by the love and energy of the performances. By the rendition of longtime favourites songs that tell us how far we have come. There are songs we thought we owned, but it wasn’t just for us. It was a shared song with shared emotions. Singing as one passionately, holding hands or swinging our heads in hysteria. It was truly a festival of rock in October.
Rocknation should not just disappear after organized events but find a way to engage rock fans and their communities. It would be an awesome way to grow this family and threaten every genre out there. Rocktoberfest 2017 was good.
I know we had new converts to the fold, My cousin is now a rock fan. Cheers!!