The Lagos State Government has released the 2019 calendar of arts, culture and entertainment events, an annual listing meant to guide local and foreign tourists as well as journalists and the general public into the rich cultural content on offer in the state. The calendar contains more than 80 events that are either fully state sponsored or simply endorsed and supported by the state government.
In a press statement issued on Sunday, January 20, by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja, said the Calendar is designed to frontload major state-sponsored and privately-driven arts, culture and entertainment events that will have positive impact on tourism promotion and the creative economy.
The release of the calendar follows the initiative that started in 2018, wherein major arts and tourism-promoting events expected in the state throughout the year are announced in January to aid planning.
A glance at the calendar show it is rich in entertainment events all year round especially in April and the last quarter of the year leading to December. Also, different festivals like Eebi Epe, Kayokayo, Agboremireke, Egungun, Ikorodu Oga and Zangbeto festivals dot the calendar year.
Just like in 2018, Ali Baba’s January 1 Comedy Concert kick-starts the listing, while other events like the Prof. Akin Euba Symposium and Concert; Wazobia FM Carnival, Dance Gathering by Q Dance Company, British-Council powered Lagos Dance Festival as well as the Lagos Marathon are listed in January and February.
On the calendar, the state intends to celebrate both the World Theatre Day on March 27, and World Dance Day in April, while also listing the iRep Documentary Festival and the Eko Film Festival among its first quarter programming.
Adelaja said, “This novel idea of creating a calendar of events for state-sponsored and state-endorsed programmes commenced in 2018 to make event planning, tour bookings and business decisions easier for tour operators and the general public.”
She stated that last year’s calendar assisted the state in projecting many of its events with inherent benefits that made the state attractive to domestic tourists, business travellers and stopover visitors.
According her: “The state has enjoyed a considerable increase in the consumption of its tourism products by improving access to tourism information and creating an events guide for the media and tour bloggers.”
Although not exhaustive, the calendar, the Perm Sec explained, would be updated periodically online in order to accommodate more events whenever organisers bring such to the attention of government.
She noted that the state is expected to leverage on infrastructural development, regeneration of old and creation of iconic attractions for entertainment, arts and culture enthusiasts to boost economic activities and expand opportunities for job creation during the various events slated on the calendar.
“The administration of Governor Ambode believes that the huge spending being recorded across the tourism and entertainment value-chain in the state is a testimony to the huge economic gain in promoting tourism in Lagos. This and other economic factors make Lagos one of the most vibrant and culturally active cities in Africa with potentials to make enormous impact in driving in-bound tourists from across the globe,” Adelaja explained.
Other major events listed in the calendar include Gidi Culture Festival, Lagos Water Regatta and Fanti Carnival and the Arise Fashion Show, which are expected to hold around the Easter Period.
The International Jazz Day celebration is listed to hold on April 30. The Lagos Comedy Festival would follow it on May 5, while the Lagos Film Fest is schedule to be hosted at the Eko Theatres in Epe, Badagry, Opebi and Igando. The African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) is listed to return to Lagos in June, while the Lagos Festival of Plays and the Lagos Poetry Festival are highlight of the third quarter of the year.
Others events listed are the Lagos Fishing Festival (Oshoroko) in Ibeju-Lekki and West Africa’s leading tourism market fair, the Akwaaba Travel Market, which will hold at Eko Convention Centre in September.
The months of October to December will be the most intense period on the calendar with MUSON Festival, Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Felabration, Lagos Books & Arts Festival (LABAF) as well as the One Lagos Fiesta.
“The state is grateful to corporate sponsors who make many of these events possible and to stakeholders in tour, aviation, events and hospitality sub-sector who add value to tourism,” she said.