Tourists happy as Lamu Art Festival ends on a high note

The fourth edition of the annual Lamu Art Festival, which kicked off on Thursday in Lamu Old Town, finally came to an end on Sunday.

The event is marked to promote and encourage artistic endeavour, education and art appreciation. The festival was launched in 2016.

This year’s festival saw both domestic and foreign tourists converge at Lamu Old Town, with hoteliers and boat operators in the historical town recording huge profits.

The event also entails celebrating of traditional visual arts in Lamu as well as offering the chance to local and international artists to exhibit contemporary arts. Among the groups that featured in this year’s art festival is Nairobi-based Mangelepa Band.

On Friday and Saturday, the band entertained locals, guests and tourists at Mkunguni Square and Lamu Fort in the town, a Unesco World Heritage site, as well as Manda-Maweni with live performances.

Various activities took place during the four-day fete, including the display of paintings and sculptures by various artists across the globe, most of them coming from Kenya and Europe.

Other activities that featured included an art workshop, craft fair, gallery walk and music concerts.

Speaking to the Nation on Sunday, one of the key participants in the event, Rachael Feiler, expressed gratitude over the manner in which this year’s festival was conducted.

She said the festival has shown major growth with each passing year.

“Everything is OK. We’re humbled to have the art festival. This year’s festival has shown signs of growth compared to other years. We have received many guests. We have also received various artists who performed, including the Mangelepa Band,” Mrs Feiler.

Trade, Tourism and Industrialisation executive Dismas Mwasambu said music and art lovers from all over the world were inspired by Lamu’s beautiful landscape and had the chance to exhibit and perform in a unique setting.

He added that the festival was a key plank of the county's strategy to boost the number of tourists visiting the region.

“The art festival is among many others we are using to market the county as a tourist destination. We have already witnessed a huge flow of tourists. Many hotels were fully booked during the four days of the art festival,” said Mr Mwasambu.

Lamu Bush Gardens Seafront Restaurant owner Ghalib Alwy said many hotels witnessed an increased number of bookings.

Source: Daily Nation