The much anticipated 2018 edition of the NativeLand festival went down on Friday night, December 28, 2018 at its traditional home of the Muri Okunola Park, Lagos.
The festival which is in its third year is put together by lifestyle platform, Native Magazine to cater to a number of its teeming followers.
As customary, the concert attracted a large crowd mostly made up of teenagers, young adults who recently returned home for the holidays or IJGBs as they are called with a number of attractions from well lit photo booths, vendor stands and colourful festival gears .
Hence, it was obvious to see the near unmatched excitement and energy all through the night.
This year’s edition was an exhibition of some of the finest artists in the land from the rising stars to the much established names with headline performances from the likes of Skepta, D’banj, Mayorkun and Teni with Wizkid making a cameo appearance.
Previously advertised headliner Burna Boy was a no-show but that did not in anyway affect what was a spectacular and thrilling concert on the night.
The opening performances witnessed a number of Nigerian and UK based talents with the likes of Odunsi The Engine who received an ecstatic response from the crowd as he performed some of his notable singles off the recent album ”rare.”, Santi who sent the crowd wild with his energetic rendering of ‘Rapid Fire’, PrettyBoy D-O who performed ‘Chop Elbow’, ‘Terminate’ and ‘Footwork’, DRB, Lady Donli, Wani, Kida Kudz, Aylo, Zamir, SV, Lord Issac, Moblanta, Straffiti, Dap The Contract and more all strutting their stuff.
Like a gathering storm, the arena which was constantly hyped by host, Finesse and DJ Bristar soon began to rumble as the next set of prominent hit makers began to take to the stage starting with the Omo Alhaji, Ycee who had the crowd singing to ‘Juice.’
Then it was upto Teni to raise the decibels even higher with ‘Askamaya’ and ‘Case’ connecting with the crowd with her engaging but brief performance.
Actress Tasha from popular series, Power, who was visiting the country for the first time made a cameo appearance on stage, while UK based rapper, Suspect also had his time on the stage.
UK Grime legend, Skepta, who has become a familiar feature at the NativeLand concerts took to the stage to screams from the excited crowd and when he brought out Wizkid during his performance of ‘Energy’, the entire arena went into an overdrive.
The organizers had promised a surprise guest on the night and very few comes bigger than D’Banj and his set provided the biggest highlight on the night. Running through a number of his hit songs like ‘Fall In Love’, ‘Issa Banger’, ‘Give It To Me’, ‘Emergency’ and ‘Oliver Twist’, by the time he was done, it was a total shutdown as the crowd danced and screamed uncontrollably.
There was still enough time for singer EO to perform his hit single, ‘German’ before Mayorkun‘s closing set which featured a number of his favorite anthems brought the night to a deserved end.
The organizers later announced that Burna Boy was unable to make the concert due to illness with the disappointed but thrilled crowd bidding the night goodbye.
The 2018 edition of the NativeLand concert again was a showcase of the influence of Afrobeats on the UK scene and the emergence of a new pool of young audience who are loyal to this emerging sound and on the night, it delivered an atmosphere of robust fun, energetic sets and awesome vibes.