Lake of Stars Festival
The Lake of Stars Festival is an internationally renowned music festival that takes place on the palm fringed shored of Lake Malawi each year. The 2019 edition marked the sixteenth year of the sensational music and arts festival. Though in 2017 the LOS festival took a break to focus on other projects, they returned in 2018 at Leopards Bay in Salima to hold their biggest festival to date. Since 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing live events to be cancelled worldwide, the festival is yet to make a return.
It was hoped that the festival would return in 2023 though that has now been confirmed as postponed to 2024. The magic of Malawi’s ‘Lake of Stars’ will appear again as songs, dance, culture and art travels from across the globe to perform in one of Africa’s most diverse festivals. See here for further details.
Festival director, Will Jameson, spoke about one of the previous events:
“It was epic. We’ve had thousands of people attend from all over Malawi, Africa and the world. We’ve had incredible performances from Gwamba and Lucius Banda through to Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers and Zimbabwe’s afro-rockers Mokoomba. This has been our best yet, with diverse acts on and off stage. Highlights have been the Burundian drummers, the Vagina Monologues Malawi and our interactive technology tent. We want to thank all the volunteers and sponsors who made this year so special. Dates for next year are out now – plan your trip and come with us to Lake Malawi.”
Check out the highlights from the 2018 festival:
More information on the Festival can be found at www.lakeofstars.org
A History of the Lake of Stars
- 15 years of the Lake of Stars project – we have produced 12 festivals and over 100 events in the UK and Africa since starting the project in 2003. We took a break from the festival in 2012 to focus on supporting other arts projects in Malawi and sourced a state-of-the-art Funktion One sound system and Midas desk which is now being used by music charity Rhythm of Life in Lilongwe. We also run the Music of Malawi website – a comprehensive archive of Malawian artists.
- The LOS project has promoted cultural-tourism and Malawi’s creative industries for 13 years. The Malawi government has recognised the crucial part that tourism can play in the country’s economy.
- The project has exposed over 600 million people to Malawi through its media coverage, notably on global networks (BBC, CNN, MTV) and online.
- It has been contributing to the development of tourism and the arts in Malawi since 2003 and is estimated to have generated over $4.7 million spend in Malawi.
- The festival provides a positive story for Malawi and Africa, and its key role in countering prevailing negative media messages about the continent is recognised through Lake of Stars being asked by Comic Relief to join their See Africa Differently advisory group.
- Will Jameson first visited Malawi for six months in 1998 when he worked in Dwangwa as a volunteer with the Wildlife Society. During that time he travelled to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. On returning to England Will took back with him a souvenir – an empty carton of ‘Chibuku Shake Shake’ beer. Halfway through university at Liverpool John Moores he decided to start a club night with friends Damo Jones, Charlene McDaid and Rich McGinnis. They named the night after the Malawian beer and went on to win Best UK Club in the Mixmag Awards in 2004. The club gave Will the contacts and experience he needed to develop the LOS festival idea.
Other Popular Events
Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon
The Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon (LMSM) is an annual sporting event in the Malawi calandar. Established in 1984, the event was created by a group of sailors, which began as a casual sail northward up the Lake, with deck chairs lashed to the hulls.