Last night rapper Olamide attempted to make history by holding the fourth edition of his annual live concert OLIC at the 24,000 capacity Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.
The previous editions were held at the 6,000 capacity Eko Hotels convention center which is quite a massive venue but not large enough to contain the multitude that comes out annually to witness the event. Over the years, fans have complained of their inability to witness the show as the venue is usually packed even before the show kicks off. This is what spurred the rapper to go for a venue that is four times bigger. Also seeing that his counterpart Phyno has filled up the 22,000 capacity Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu twice, why wouldn’t he try? Afterall, Phyno is to the East as Olamide is to the West.
‘Olamide must fill up Teslim, in fact, the stadium will be too small for his fans’ were the kind of thoughts we conceived. Baddo is the voice of the streets, a look at past events dictates that whatever he commands, the street executes so one had no reason to harbor thoughts of impossibilities.
The reality that however played out at the event venue was the exact opposite of our expectations. Yes, you heard right! Olamide didn’t shut down the 24,000 capacity stadium. By an eye count, it is safe to say that not up-to 15,000 people showed up. How come? Why exactly did the fans who requested for a bigger venue fail to fill it up?
The cause of the low turnout can be largely attributed to fear of lack of security. A glance at the history of stadium events in Nigeria suggests that it is a very scary experience as hoodlums always find a way to perpetrate evil schemes like raping, stealing and other terrible acts. The tales of horrible concert experiences in Nigeria are endless. ‘I nearly miss the show o because I know say all those bad boys go come show themselves’ said a certain young lady while finding her way out of the venue. Another young man also revealed that the fear of possibly running into the dreaded Special Anti Robbery Squad #SARS hindered a lot of his friends from showing up. ‘Some of my guys wey buy ticket no gree come because SARS fit use this opportunity stop boys for road.. Their own too much’, he disclosed.
But opposed to popular belief, there was some sort of orderliness as Olamide ensured that heavy security was put in place. Armed and unarmed security agents were positioned strategically in and outside the stadium and at intervals, a security chopper was on patrol to ensure that everything was under control. Even though there were a few scuffles, nothing seemingly went out of hand.
Another reason that led to the low turn out stems from the price of the tickets. Regular tickets were sold for 1,000 naira while VIP tickets went for 5,000 naira. By bringing the show to the heart of Lagos mainland, Olamide should know that the major attendees would be his not-so-elite fans. ‘Na my last card I take buy this ticket o, 1,000 naira tí pó ju (1,000 is too much)’ exclaimed a certain unhappy fan.
Thousands of people were unable to gain access to the venue because they couldn’t afford to buy the tickets. ‘The show make sense?’ Asked another fan who was standing at the entrance. Upon inquiring why he missed the show, one gathered that the young man couldn’t afford to pay 1,000 naira.
Truthfully, the regular tickets should have been cheaper. Phyno’s tickets were sold for 200 naira! Olamide knows these things.
Alas, Olamide won’t be able to say shutdown ‘Teslim Balogun Stadium’ on his next album.
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