Yoliswa Dube, Showbiz Reporter
Hay bales set under umbrellas, Afro-centric music, and air filled with the aroma of delectable feel good food created the perfect atmosphere for the maiden Unplugged Zimbabwe event in Bulawayo recently.
Dubbed the premium family-friendly “wine and blankets” styled music event, Unplugged Zimbabwe brought a fresh twist to the city’s entertainment scene.
It accommodated audiences of various age groups with something different for the whole family to do.
As the love birds and the more mature show goers relaxed under the umbrellas while sitting on hay bales, taking in the music and sipping on some minerals, the children had a play centre with jumping castles to keep them amused while the teens could stay entertained at the photo booth with various social media-friendly props.
The energetic ones had all the space they needed to show off their dance moves as they followed the performances on stage.
The aroma from the various food stalls could not be ignored — the hungry and the nibbly were well taken care of.
As the sun set and the night took over, the lighting on stage and around the venue gave the event an upmarket feel that anyone with a taste for the finer things in life would appreciate.
Unplugged Zimbabwe is an opportunity to catch up with old friends and bond with loved ones in an untainted and calm environment.
It is an opportunity to watch the sun set while under the sound of authentic African music — no pressure.
Audiences attending Unplugged Zimbabwe events are encouraged to drive down to the designated venue with a blanket or picnic chair and a bottle of wine in the company of friends and family for a chic music and lifestyle experience.
Cooler boxes are allowed into the venue and food and drinks are available for sale.
As its tagline “Love, Live, Music” suggests, Unplugged Zimbabwe is designed to showcase the various genres of Afro-centric music, while encouraging local audiences to support and promote upcoming and undiscovered talent. Performing at the inaugural event in Bulawayo were the highly talented Outfit Band, DJs Reverb 7 and TK Beats, tribal house trio Djembe Monks, rapper Cal Vin and Afro fusion musician, Hope Masike.
Unplugged Zimbabwe was founded in 2013 by Chiedza Danha and Ellinah Chipumha after having conversed about their deep passion for African music and determination to create safe and family-friendly spaces where local music could be consumed. The pair then decided to design an outdoor music event for people of all ages.
The first Unplugged event took place in December 2013, at Gecko Gardens in Harare and was attended by 150 people.
Now, it has grown to be one of the must-attend acoustic events in the capital with over 130 artistes having performed there.
Bulawayo is a warm city and Unplugged Zimbabwe could have found a new home here.