The Lagos State Government has released the 2019 calendar of arts, culture and entertainment events, a statement by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mrs Abosede Adelaja, reads. First introduced last year, the calendar is an annual listing to guide local and foreign tourists as well as the general public on the various fun and touristy cultural activities on offer in the state.
The Calendar, which has more than 80 listed events, either state sponsored or simply endorsed and supported by the Lagos State Government.
According to Adelaja, 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 statement further states: “This year’s calendar 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 festival dot the Calendar all through tbe year.
“The state intends to celebrate both the World Theatre Day on March 27th and World Dance Day in April while also listing the iRep Documentary Festival and the Eko Film Festival among its first quarter programming.
“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.
“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, Adelaja explained, would be updated periodically online in order to accommodate more events whenever organisers bring such to the attention of government.
“The administration of Governor Ambode believes that the huge spendings 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 inbound tourists from across the globe,” the statement reads.
Other major events listed in the calendar include Gidi Culture Festival, Lagos Water Regatta and Fanti Carnival and the Arise Fashion Show.
Also listed are the International Jazz Day celebration (April 30); the Lagos Comedy Festival (May 5) and the Lagos Film Fest scheduled 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 highlight the third quarter of the year.
Others 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.
October to December will be the most intense period on the calendar. It will feature crowd-pulling programmes like the MUSON Festival; Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF); Felabration; Lagos Books & Arts Festival (LABAF) and the One Lagos Fiesta.