2020 was a year that would not be forgotten in a hurry by entertainers. For an industry that thrives on mass gatherings, the COVID -19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the livelihood of many.
For a significant part of the year, there was a ban on mass gatherings and at a time when many were expecting things to return to normal, a second wave of the pandemic necessitated the cancellation of many concerts and events.
Considering that December is usually the most lucrative part of the year for entertainers, it was not surprising that many annual events had already been scheduled to take place but had to be cancelled.
‘Africa’s biggest street party’ as it is fondly called, the Calabar Carnival was one of the anticipated annual events that were affected by the pandemic. The elaborate month – long festival, which is hosted by the Cross River State government, started in 2004 and holds from December 1 to December 31. The event has doubtlessly boosted the cultural mosaic of the Nigerian people while entertaining millions of spectators from all over the world.
DMW Live in Concert
DMW Live in Concert, organised by pop star, Davido, was also cancelled after its date had been announced and fans had already paid for tables. Davido later took to his Instagram page to apologise to his fans for the cancellation of the yearly concert. He wrote, “ Following increased and overwhelming concerns with the rise of COVID -19 cases in Lagos, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the upcoming ‘ Davido Presents DMW Live In Concert’ scheduled to take place on December 28. The health and wellbeing of our fans, employees and artistes is of paramount importance, so while we are disappointed, we know it is the right thing to do. Thank you to everyone that purchased tables. Your support brought us way closer to sold-out status than we expected in a very uncertain time! We look forward to bringing you a DMW Live in Concert in the very near future. In the meantime, stay safe, sanitised and socially distanced. Thank you for your understanding and Merry Christmas in advance.”
Rhythm Unplugged, organised by Flytime Promotions, is one event that thousands of partygoers look forward to every year. According to its organisers, the event, which had been going on consistently since 2004, was designed to promote Nigerian musicians and comedians at a time when the Nigerian music industry was just gaining recognition on the international music scene. There have been over 40 editions of the event in various cities of the country. However, 2020 proved to be an exception as the concert was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A popular gospel music concert, Cool Fm Praise Jam, which holds yearly, is another one of the lined -up concerts that eventually did not hold. Hosted by Cool FM, past editions of the event were well attended.
Ali Baba’s January 1st concert
Popular comedian, Ali Baba ’s January 1st concert which usually heralds the New Year was also cancelled as a result of the raging coronavirus pandemic. The classy concert which debuted in 2014 has featured performances by several A -list music artistes, dancers and comedians.
Weeks ago, Ali Baba had taken to his social media pages to intimate his fans that the event would not hold this year.
Unarguably one of the biggest gospel concerts in Nigeria, The Experience, is attended by hundreds of thousands people. As a matter of fact, whenever the event held in the past, it always resulted in heavy traffic snarls in the host city of Lagos. Gospel musicians from around the world usually join their Nigerian counterparts to ‘minister’ at the well-attended event organised by Pastor Paul Adefarasin’s House on the Rock Church. This year, the event held virtually to the disappointment of many who had planned to attend physically.