A reveler enjoying a beer at the Nyege Nyege festival (Bwette Photography)

As government plans to protect Ugandan citizens against the Corona virus (COVID-19), public gatherings were banned on Wednesday evening as President Yoweri Museveni addressed the nation but what does that mean for the entertainment industry?

Although there has not been any confirmed case of Corona virus in Uganda as of today, President Museveni said all schools, university and other institutions of learning would be closed starting Friday, March 20, 2020 for one month.

Museveni also placed a ban on all public gatherings in bars, music shows, cinemas, and concerts for a month as a way of controlling the spread of COVID-19.

The merry-making, discos, dances, bars, sports, music shows, cinemas, and concerts. These are very dangerous gathering points with the virus around. Drunkards sit close to one another. They are a danger to themselves. All these are suspended for a month.

H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

That means that all concerts that had been scheduled to happen in the next 30 days will have to be canceled or postponed to another date beyond the period gazetted for quarantine by the government.

Some of those include the Eddy Kenzo Festival, Kent and Flosso’s concert, all shows in the Easter period, Purple Party, among many others.

Obviously, the ban will have several effects on basic life as Ugandans learn to live with the imposed quarantine but how will it socially and economically affect the entertainment industry? We take a look at some of the pointers below:

Many artistes are set to regret their poor saving and investing techniques. Without a doubt, our pockets will feel the effects firsthand but for the artistes, it is gonna be quite a month and most will survive on their savings.

In Uganda, the most common and convenient way any artiste will make good income is through performances and the ban means that they won’t have the opportunity for over 30 days.

A few artistes have already come up with several questions concerning the economic plan that government should reveal having imposed a ban on the avenues where they make their income. Are they feeling the heat already?

After closing churches mosques school bars events etc. The government should have an economic plan. We are waiting.

DJ Roja

In pursuit for a market to sell their works and generate income, artistes will venture more into online marketing and digital promotion. Despite several embracing social media usage, not many have cared to understand the digital trends and how to match them with their art. The only thing they’ve cared to understand well is how to verify their social media pages.

A Digital Expert Scopion MC takes singer Hanson Baliruno through a few tips on social media handling.

Today, A Pass could be the best example of an artiste who has exposed the advantages of marketing art online. Now that the bars where most musicians have been dwelling while promoting their music have been closed, most will fallback to social media and other music streaming sites to see the best way to get their music to the final consumer. It could turn out as a blessing in disguise.

A shift in trends online will also be experienced as entertainers, who are quite influential figures, turn to the platforms to interact with their fans. Online is the only way artistes have to communicate with their fans now and we could see a rise in Facebook/Instagram live videos, streams, Twitter hashtags among others.

Since revelers are going to be in lockdown mode, everyone will be looking for the best ways to stay entertained. This creates a rise in demand for art in general. Music, movies, comedy, poetry, photography, etc should all be on demand in coming days. Notably, Netflix and chill could become the order of the day and local content creators should find a way of availing relative content on the market.

Hellen Lukoma acting out a scene in a Ugandan movie

Artistes are also to revise the ways how they collect income from their art. Artistes have been focusing on organizing shows almost each weekend, and during the week at times, to collect money. For 30 days, they will have to revise their tactics as they find better ways to sell their art and collect income.

A rise in Radio listeners and Television viewership might also be witnessed as people evade the streets to settle at their homes. Everyone will be looking for the best ways to keep themselves busy during the 30 days. Television and Radio will be the best alternative depending on your preference.

The comedy industry is doing quite well with people flocking comedy shows on a weekly basis. With the ban, however, comedians will start devising ways of staying relevant and extending their skits to their fans. Online will help with that and we are likely to see a rise in the number of comedians venturing in social media skits.

Congestion of concerts beyond the set period will be automatic. With all concerts that had been scheduled to happen from March 20th to April 20th being pushed forward, expect an overflow of concerts as each organizer looks for any date after the quarantine period to fix their events into the calendar.

There are several other effects that the quarantine is going to have on the industry and we want to hear out your opinions in the comment section. Above all, we urge you to take all measures necessary to stay safe.

Read Also: COVID-19 | Eddy Kenzo Festival postponed as Museveni bans public gatherings

Josh Ruby is an Editor with high interest and knowledge in the Ugandan entertainment space, an industry he has been actively part of since 2010. Leads to breaking stories are welcome!

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