Hi there. I wish to remain anonymous. I have listened to your ZimEye show regarding the so-called Leicester SAMA festival. Let me explain to you what is happening with the queues, and the resulting ‘pressure’ outside, and why it’s likely to continue happening at future shows. What I’m about to explain is something I have seen with my own eyes, not zvekuudzwa. It is the promoters’ ‘doorcraft’ (or better said “Witchcraft”), which is meant to maximise profits.

Advance tickets are sold to unsuspecting punters, on the false promise that they will be given priority when entering the venue. Mild ‘threats’ are even made when selling the advance tickets, that it will be a “ticket only” event; or that there won’t be anymore tickets sold after such and such a date; or that the “tickets are selling really fast so get yours now”. ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW – 

Naive punters rush to buy the advance tickets (while stocks last!). At the point of sale, the punters are (sometimes) advised to get to the venue early “to avoid disappointment.” Sometimes they are not, depending on who they buy their tickets from. When the advance ticket-holders arrive at the venue, some do so in good time and are allowed to get in – they are far too early to get turned away. After a short while, the promoter, (it’s the one with dread locks who always supervises the doors at these events), creates two queues – one for advance ticket-holders and another for those without advance tickets, paying a premium at the door.

He then deliberately creates a bottleneck for the queue for advance ticket-holders, slowly drip-feeding them into the venue, if at all. There is never any explanation as to why that particular queue is moving slowly. Meanwhile, those on the other queue, and paying a premium, are rewarded with a speedy service and entry. In fact, the promoter would rather the venue fills up with these premium customers, even if it means totally disregarding those with advance, but cheaper, tickets.


In due course, the advance ticket-holders, (most of whom are by now standing in a queue snaking around the building, with no clue as to the cause of the hold up), become restless and eventually restive, and they do so for good reason – they were promised priority entry when they bought their advance tickets. They start applying “pressure”, but little do they know that they are playing into the promoters’ apparent plans. It appears to me that’s exactly what the promoters want.

It gives the promoters justification to completely shut down the queue for the advance ticket-holders. Their security personnel, who have been idle all this time, are called into action; to push back against the customers. By then the venue is full or almost full with premium customers who are safely inside and enjoying the show. But outside everything has degenerated into total chaos and the advance ticket holders, plus some without tickets, are turned away, citing over-booking, health and safety, drunk and disorderly behaviour, urinating against the walls, the “Zimbabwean mentality” or whatever reasons the promoter dreams up.

This is the ‘door-craft’ I personally witnessed at play. The solution; well…if you are really desperate to attend these events, buy the advance ticket and arrive at the venue before sunset. If you arrive after dark you are already late. Alternatively, don’t buy advance tickets, and benefit from the speedy premium service. Or, if you are feeling rich, buy an advance ticket and hope to arrive on time. If you find that you are already late, join the premium service queue and hassle hard for a refund on your advance tickets. Or, lastly, simply find alternative gate-away destinations for your Easter weekend.


I’m happy for you to paste this onto your ZimEye wall for the benefit of future attendees. I’m also happy for you to put this statement to Y2K for their response. I believe the people who attend the SAMA festival are discerning, mature and respectable adults and they ought to be treated better. Please note that I wish to remain anonymous. Thank you.

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