The sun had barely descended when a long queue started to form outside Kana warehouse at wolo-sefer. Young people dressed in diverse blend of colorful clothings, each to its own taste, lined up to get into the festival, which had been the talk of the city for weeks. Vendors at the event had set-up their stands and awaited droves of people yearning for entertainment to enter the venue.
The venue filled up in no time with enjoyable activities keeping guests entertained outside until the main acts took center stage. The aroma of food and chatter filled the warehouse. The festival did not fall short in paying tribute to other art forms, showcasing paintings by local artist and crafts by small businesses, among other activities.
Inside the warehouse, the set designer’s setup enhanced the show on the stage, allowing the DJ gave a performance that will not be forgotten. As soon as the sun gave way to the moon, dynamic tunes started to fill the massive hall.
The music started with an opening act from Milu-presents leading the way with her energetic presence that instantly gave the crowd what they were looking for and more. The pandemic had robbed young people of the chance to live in the moment and experience their youth to the fullest.
“When I was in high school, I would see posts about grand events in Addis Ababa and I would get excited thinking I would get to go to one after I graduate high school, but the pandemic hit and all that became a dream,” said Yanit Teleha, looking back on how the pandemic had prevented her from enjoying festivals and events specifically tailored for young people.
Yanit had been to events after venues started opening up but nothing of this magnitude.
“I arrived here thinking it would be like the events I recently went to but boy was I wrong,” Yanit said, explaining how the electronic music mixed with the plethora of young people looking to shake the week-off, in a giant warehouse of all places, which gave the night a different hue to what she was used to.
The organizer of the festival, Shega events, has been active since late 2019, working on events in smaller venues with regulars that relentlessly performed giving their audiences what they would enjoy. The team has been consistently delivering events centered on providing platforms to new artists and small business owners.
Recognizing the platform they could provide for all the creatives, the team started to build their own followers and the magnitude of the events they organized.
The organizers, who are responsible for events like Fridaze and Bermel, out did themselves this time around, booking the hottest artist, including Jordan and Bek Ge’ez, who debuted their work from their new EP album at the event. The event that lasted way past midnight featured several artists, composers, bands and DJ’s, whose performances brought the audiences an escape from the realities they faced.
Yonatan Mulugeta, co-founder of Shega events, explains how hard it was pulling off something of this magnitude after having built their reputation over intimate, moderately sized venues and attendees.
“If you ask any event organizer, one of the biggest tasks in organizing an event is putting out quick fires here and there,” said Yonatan.
“That was our biggest task, coming up with solutions every hour and minute. And despite all the obstacles, we hope everyone that came out to the eighth edition of Bermel fest was left happy and satisfied,” added Yonatan.
The crowd favorite of the night, Perdu, who has been active in the underground music scene, since he was in high school, gave the people what they wanted by playing and mixing tracks that were reminiscent of the majority of the crowds younger days. The relatively new and young composer told The Reporter how the experience had been a shift compared to his other performances.
“As a performer you feed off of the crowd’s energy and the crowed that night were immaculate. I am currently the resident DJ for the Shega team, and they gave me the platform I needed to reach a crowd of this magnitude,” said Perdu, reflecting on his career so far. Having worked with the Shega team for a while now, Perdue knows his carrier is only on the up.
The Shega events team has a variety of newer and bigger ideas instore for the future, looking to expand on the popularity they earned with a series of events they have organized so far.
“We have some new projects that we’re excited about. We will be coming back with bigger events and festivals, and we will be joining different sectors starting from digital media, studio to marketing and promotion,” said Yonatan.