The Long Awaited Stanbic Yetu Festival Faces Severe Backlash

The Stanbic Yetu Festival, organized by Stanbic Bank in collaboration with Radio Africa Group, unfolded on Saturday, June 10th, 2023, at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi. The festival boasted an impressive lineup, headlined by Boyz II Men, the iconic American R&B group. However, the event faced scathing criticism from attendees, with many expressing their discontent and frustration on social media.

Ticketing & Crowd Control

The ticketing process started off reasonably well for early birds who arrived early, allowing for a smooth entry. However, once inside the main arena, a sense of disarray prevailed. Confusion surrounded the purpose of the red seats carried by some attendees, as they were informed they couldn’t bring them into the arena. Crowd control was abysmal, resulting in uncomfortably packed conditions for the attendees.

Set Up, Seating Arrangements & Problems at Regular

The festival failed to provide adequate seating arrangements for regular ticket holders. Those who arrived early secured seats, but the majority of attendees were left standing throughout the event. In a bizarre turn of events, some individuals managed to bring their own seats despite being informed otherwise. Moreover, a production cage obstructed the view for countless ticket buyers, rendering their experience devoid of any visual connection with the performers on the main stage.

Long Queues at Food Spots & Washrooms

Food and restroom facilities were inadequate for the large crowd in attendance. The few available restrooms were poorly maintained, lacked proper lighting, and were located at a considerable distance from the main area. Consequently, long queues formed, leaving attendees frustrated. The designated food spots were also ill-equipped to handle the demand, resulting in extensive queues. Many attendees chose to forgo food altogether due to the impractical waiting times. The mismatch between the number of tickets sold and the limited number of food vendors further exacerbated the problem.

Sauti Sol & The Screen

The eagerly anticipated performance by Kenyan boyband Sauti Sol experienced its fair share of issues. The regular section, where the majority of attendees were situated, faced technical difficulties with the screen. Initially, only the performers’ feet were visible, and later, the screen went completely blank for the remainder of Sauti Sol’s set. Frustration grew among the crowd, leading to chants demanding a fix. The VIP section also voiced their disappointment as they encountered similar problems. While attempts were made to rectify the issue by bringing down the screens, it was too late, and the damage had already been done.


One of the major concerns during the festival was the poor sound quality. During Sauti Sol’s performance, microphone issues were apparent, and the guitar strumming was unbalanced. Hopes were high that Boyz II Men, the main act of the night, would have a better sound experience. However, their performance was equally if not more disappointing, as the sound quality remained subpar. Homeboyz PLC, responsible for handling the sound, failed to meet expectations, showing up unprepared and without proper equipment.

The festival received scathing criticism on social media platforms, with attendees expressing their disappointment and frustration. Wanjiru Mwangi, Abigael Arunga, and other influential users raised concerns about the lack of seating arrangements, poor sound quality, organizational negligence, and the overall failure to deliver a satisfactory experience. Attendees called for improved planning, better crowd control, adequate seating, reliable sound systems, and enhanced communication between organizers and attendees. The negative feedback serves as valuable insights for future events, urging the organizers to address the highlighted concerns and strive for a seamless and enjoyable festival experience.

Positive Experiences

Amidst the multitude of negative reviews, some attendees managed to find positive aspects of the festival. Fena Gitu, a prominent singer, expressed her enjoyment of the VVIP experience, acknowledging the event’s flaws but still appreciating the opportunity to witness Boyz II Men’s performance up close. Another attendee, @VinieO, raved about the VVIP section, relishing the exquisite dining options and the opportunity to mingle with notable individuals. Although these positive experiences were overshadowed by the event’s numerous problems, they serve as a glimmer of hope for future improvements.