“Blankets and Wine” is a unique series of music events that originated in Kenya and has since become a cultural phenomenon, extending its reach to other African countries. These gatherings are distinguished by their relaxed outdoor ambiance, inviting attendees to bring blankets and picnic baskets for a delightful experience of live music, food, and socializing. It’s essentially a large outdoor party where families come together to revel in the joy of music.
The initial Blankets and Wine event took place in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2008, founded by Muthoni Ndonga, also known as Muthoni the Drummer Queen. Her vision was to establish a space for live music that deviated from the formality of traditional concert halls, emphasizing a more casual and friendly atmosphere.
Blankets and Wine in Uganda
In Uganda, Blankets and Wine made its debut in August 2012 in Kampala and has since evolved into a cultural phenomenon, hosting three to four events annually. It has transformed from being merely a festival and became a lifestyle, a culture, and a community of devoted music eager to immerse themselves in the soulful rhythms of urban African music.
The concept quickly gained traction in Uganda, with events embodying the same relaxed vibe found in Kenya. Families attend with their blankets and picnic baskets, ready to partake in a day filled with music and enjoyment. The organizers in Uganda specifically aimed to create a family-friendly environment that goes beyond the music, fostering connections and shared experiences.
Over the years, Blankets and Wine in Uganda has showcased a diverse array of both local and international artists, offering a platform for musicians to showcase their talents and for the audience to discover new sounds. Beyond music, these events have become a platform for cultural exchange, where attendees not only enjoy the musical performances but also immerse themselves in various aspects of art and culture, celebrating creativity in all its forms.
Diversity and entertainment
One of the notable aspects of Blankets and Wine is its comprehensiveness. People from all walks of life come together, transforming these events into large community gatherings where good company, connections, and an appreciation for the arts take center stage. What sets Blankets and Wine apart is its simplicity and focus on enjoyment; attendees don’t need to dress up in formal clothes but can simply bring their blankets, relax, and soak in the music and the atmosphere.
The success of Blankets and Wine in Uganda goes beyond being a music celebration; it reflects a broader trend in people’s preferences for alternative and community-driven entertainment experiences. Blankets and Wine offers a relaxed, outdoor celebration of music and culture, providing a refreshing departure from traditional concert hall or stadium experiences. This aligns with the growing demand for events that bring people together in a casual and enjoyable manner.
Live performances are a key highlight of Blankets and Wine, featuring emerging, established, and headlining artists on the main stage. The events also include great DJ sets, various food options, mini art installations for photography, and, of course, lots of singing along and dancing. It’s a holistic experience that caters to diverse tastes and preferences.
Drinks in the festival
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own drinks, contributing to the relaxed atmosphere. However, there are also beverages available for purchase at the venue, including beers, hard liquor, soft drinks, and cocktails. Notably, only drinks from Uganda Breweries are allowed at the venue, adding a local touch to the event.
Terms and conditions
The events come with terms and conditions that govern the proceedings. Upon entering the event premises, attendees consent to interviews, photography, audio recordings, and video recordings. This content may be released, published, exhibited, or reproduced for various purposes, including news, webcasts, promotions, telecasts, advertising, and social media, by House of DJs (HOD), its affiliates, and representatives. Attendees release all involved parties from any liability associated with the creation and use of these materials.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable environment, age restrictions are in place, allowing entry only to individuals 18 years and older due to the sale of alcohol on the premises. These terms are enforced during the event to maintain a responsible and secure atmosphere.
Expanding to other countries
The impact of Blankets and Wine extends beyond individual countries; it has spread across East Africa, with events in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. The initiative has ambitions to reach the entire continent, exemplifying the universal appeal of its music and cultural celebration.
How to get tickets
An upcoming Blankets and Wine event is scheduled for December 17, 2023, at Lugogo Cricket Oval. Tickets, priced at 150,000 Ugandan Shillings, can be conveniently accessed through Flexi pay or by dialing *291#.
For those aspiring to perform or have their bands participate, bookings can be made by reaching out to email@example.com or by sending an email with a link to their website.
In summary, Blankets and Wine is not just an event; it’s a movement, a lifestyle, and a celebration of music and community. Its success lies in providing an alternative, community-driven entertainment experience that resonates with people’s desire for a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. The events showcase the rich diversity of urban African music, creating a platform for both local and international artists. Blankets and Wine is a testament to the power of music to bring people together, fostering connections, and celebrating creativity in a vibrant and inclusive setting.