From the founders of The NATIVE,
Firstly, we would like to apologise to everyone who attended NATIVELAND, either as a guest, performing artist, partner, vendor or media. We are truly sorry about your experience at the festival and want to be transparent with you about what happened.
Since the conclusion of the festival, we, the founders, have personally reached out to our affected guests, and given support in every way possible. We have spoken to our ticketing partners and our external production & security contractors to specifically pinpoint areas that must be improved upon. We are also collaborating with a state-approved security agency, to highlight all the aspects of the incident report we compiled that can be prevented moving forward.
Last year’s festival is clear indication that we’ve grown since we started in 2016, and neither us or our ticketing partner anticipated the level of on-the -day demand. Due to this, the entrance gate at Muri Okunola Park became overcrowded with a mixture of guests with tickets and those seeking to buy tickets, and was eventually knocked down by an eager audience wanting to experience the festival.
As a result of this, the VIP riser at the festival ground, which was built by a trusted contractor, collapsed due to overcapacity. Following these two concurrent events, our production partners halted proceedings, with the aim to secure the venue and restore order. It was later restarted, and we are deeply sorry to those guests who came to the festival site and didn’t receive the experience usually associated with our events.
NATIVELAND is about the people, and we are sorry to have let you down. This has been an eye-opening experience, and we can now see just how much our community has grown since 2016. We don’t take this for granted, we’re very committed to taking extreme care moving forward, to continue to improve experiences and ensure nothing like this ever happens again. We’d like to say thank you to this community, and also to our family & friends for always showing up for us. We would also like to thank LASPARK specifically for their continued support over the last four editions of NATIVELAND at Muri Okunola Park. Overall, we are deeply sorry, and hope to gain your trust again as we continue our work in building The NATIVE, where we’ll continue our mission to tell the best stories on the continent, at the pulse of the African millennial.
Seni Saraki, Sule Shittu, Teni “Teezee” Zacchaeus, Ademide Edgal, Olushola Fagbemi