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Olamide: Rapper has outgrown Eko Hotel, its time to shut down stadiums

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Olamide at OLIC3

It’s time to kill Eko Hotel. Olamide should make the step up to the glory of stadiums.

Everywhere there were people. From the adjoin streets that stretch out to other streets that form a network on Victoria Island down to the source of all these people; Eko Hotels & Suites.

These people came from all over Lagos and beyond, all seeking for a chance to see rapper and Hip-hop evangelist, Olamide Adedeji, perform at his annual ‘Olamide Live In Concert”. A show which began in 2014, the rapper has made it three in three years, transcending from just a concert to an artistic celebration of his success and an opportunity to promote his albums, which are another yearly affair.

 

This year, his new project – “The Glory” – which was released on the day of the concert, marked his 6 studio album, and chronicles his growth as an artiste and tells his story. The same story that has made these people abandon the comfort of their homes, the sweet lull of sleep, and make the exasperating drive, endure the traffic and hand over their money for a chance to be a part of that story.

But there were too much of them. More than Eko Hotel can handle, hence they overflowed from the hall through to the edges of Victoria Island. Many were left stranded outside, without a chance to gain access to a show they paid. Their tickets hung limp in their hands, useless. Many others could not exchange tickets for access wristbands into the venue.

 

Eko Convention Centre, the mega concert Hall that has been the Mecca of performing pop concerts in Lagos has staved off competition over the years from rival venues, due to its location in a core center, and its capacity.

 

The Eko Convention Centre is the largest multipurpose conference; banquet and exhibition centre in Nigeria, with a maximum floor space of 5,151 square metres. This facility provides sufficient space to fit 270 exhibitions stands; it also has the capacity to cater for dinner and conference events for up to 3,000 people and concerts with audiences of up to 6,000 people.

The Hall can be divided into five separate sections for smaller conferences and exhibitions and comes with built in sound systems, professional lighting and roll away stage with carpeting to enhance the sound effects. But all of these spaces has become too small for Olamide.

 

Olamide who once boasted on his single “Eyan Mayweather” about shutting down Eko Hotels now has to find validation in shutting down a bigger venue. His epic line: “When… anybody wants to talk about rapper or whatever, go shutdown Eko Hotel first…”, has become redundant in light of his bigger successes and the growth of his celebrity and the exponential expansion of his fan base, which cuts through every known and imaginable demographic in Nigeria.

He no longer needs Eko Hotel, what he needs is a stadium. Yes, he is at that level.

Olamide should move his concert to Any of the two major stadiums in Lagos. The Teslim Balogun Stadium which boasts of a capacity of 24,325, or even grander, the National Stadium, which will provide him with space to accommodate 55,000 people.

 

Doing this might not be easy, but it makes more sense for his fans. He has the political connections to make that happen. The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Senator Dino Melaiye, and Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi were all present at OLIC3. Between them he has state support for use of the facility and adequate security to make that a reality. What remains is adequate pricing of the tickets and everything falls into place.

 

Just recently, Phyno accomplished a similar feat in the East, by filling up a stadium. Fans of the highly indigenous rapper came out in their numbers, filling the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium with a total of 30,000 excited fans screaming excitedly while over 5,000 fans who were not allowed entry due to security challenges camped at the entrance as an expression of their love for the rapper.

In theory, Olamide is a greater artiste with more mainstream influence than Phyno, with a fan base which spans the entire country. If properly marketed, these will be rookie numbers for him.

It’s time to kill Eko Hotel. Olamide should make the step up to the glory of stadiums.

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