Let’s face it, the Nativeland festival flopped. And I’m sure the organizers didn’t foresee it going down south the way it did. The stories coming out of the event are nothing close to the culture-leading brand that The Native brand claims to be. 

Instead of curating culture-defining moments with NATIVELAND19, all we have heard are tales of woe… and much more – VIP stand collapsing and getting people injured, sound system unresponsive, artistes walking off the stage, people getting beaten and robbed, atrocious crowd control, and a generally ineptly organized event. 

Everything that could go wrong went wrong. And one thing that could salvage the mess – the press statement to explain the issue – also went wrong. It’s obvious the communication was rushed so I took it upon myself to summarize what the issues are just in case the NATIVE people missed it. 

For the fourth edition of NATIVELAND, we pulled together a team of experts from around the world, who spent many months consulting and discussing with the NATIVE team. This was because we’ve heard feedback from previous editions of the festival. We planned to follow-through on fixing all those issues this year.

First of all, no one cares that you pulled together a team of experts if they all turned out to be incompetent. This statement should have straight up started with an apology to your supporters and those who had enough faith in your show to entrust their safety into your hands. Those who you thoroughly disappointed and many others who suffered bodily harm just because they believed in your promise of a good time. 

The show opened on time, however towards 11PM close of doors, a stampede at the ticketing-area forced down the gate at Muri Okunola park. The crowd overwhelmed our security forces, allowing multiple unticketed entries. Subsequently, this led to our overcrowded backstage, and the long music break, after the collapse of our VIP platform. Our biggest lesson from this experience moving-forward, is that NATIVELAND needs to move to a bigger venue.

If you had to learn this lesson even after consulting with experts before the festival then you know there’s a problem. What you’re doing is blaming your piss poor crowd control on the fans who attended your event. This doesn’t look good on your brand – fix up… for good this time. 

We apologise to invited local and international media, NATIVELANDers and friends of the NATIVE community. We appreciate the support since we started NATIVE as an independent platform in 2016. We hope you support us after today so The NATIVE can continue to tell stories for our generation no one else would.

How your team didn’t see that it doesn’t make sense to apologise first to “local and international media” before doing so to the people who attended your show and got beaten up and stolen from is beyond me. The standard practice is to apologise and come up with solutions to make things better. 

N.B: We are aware there are reports people got injured at NATIVELAND19, but no one officially contacted the NATIVE team till the close of the show at 4AM. We kindly implore anyone with details to send an email to contact@thenativemag.com.

The fact that you deleted this statement shows you’ve seen how much of a bad taste it – especially the final note – leaves in people’s mouth. Do better guys, do better. 

Read the full statement below: