Nigerians have an undeniable liking for celebrations. Just as all our celebrations are woven around music – from gospel praise and worship for Christian gatherings to traditional folk music per ethnic event – so have our end of year festivities been slowly and annually built around concerts and carnivals on the urban cultural landscape.
Our favourite Nigerian artists thrill us with special performances at the end of the year after months of performing at locations around the globe; newer artists garner new followings with the newest anthems. More than anything, a December concert is the final landmark for any musician who has had a massively successful year.
Olamide’s annual roof raiser, Olamide Live In Concert (OLIC), is a prime example; it was launched in 2014 when the hip-hop artist sat atop the music industry. This year, he is looking to go further than raising the roof by doing away with the roof altogether at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
Other peak perchers, such as Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy, are also headlining their own concerts this year. The Burna Boy Show, set at the Federal Palace Hotel, shares the 17th with OLIC, while Wizkid and Davido take turns at Eko Hotel on the 24th and 27th respectively.
Last year, Mr Eazi and Runtown were the newcomers that crowned the landmark success of their years with December shows. This year, the notable newcomers are Maleek Berry and Nonso Amadi, both performing at the Hard Rock Café on the 7th and 18th respectively. Ancient and modern media brands from Rhythm FM to Culture Custodians also have jumbo concerts scheduled. With over 30 shows in 30 days, the sheer array of artists headlining and supporting each other’s shows is a testament to the music industry’s growth in productivity and inclusivity.
However, the jam-packed December schedule also increases the tendency of artists to cannibalise each other’s income streams and exposure to fans. On the 17th, every gain for Olamide would be a loss for Burna Boy as every gain for Rhythm FM would be a loss for The Native on the 22nd. Artists and brands would have to compete for the money and attention of fans they previously shared. Although it could be argued that these artists and brands are not competing but rather catering to different markets, they still inevitably compete for the same limited sponsors and collaborators.
In all of this, the ultimate winners are the fans who would be able to curate the mood and sounds of their December according to their individual tastes, free time and the depths of their pockets.
Let the festivities begin!