The Lagos State Government on Thursday released a calendar of over 70 state-sponsored and endorsed arts, as well as culture programmes slated for 2018.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Steve Ayorinde, in a statement, said that the calendar was drawn up in a bid to garner visibility for tourism-oriented art programmes.
Ayorinde described the calendar as a novel exercise designed to front-load state and privately-driven arts, culture and entertainment events that would have positive effects on tourism promotion.
“This is in fulfilment of the State Government’s promise to announce a yearly calendar of events to guide programming, tourist and visitors’ decisions,” he said.
Ayorinde said that the idea of creating a calendar of events for state-sponsored and state-endorsed programmes was to make events planning, tour bookings and business decisions easier for tour operators and the general public.
He added that the calendar was part of the state’s innovation to project arts, entertainment and leisure benefits inherent in Lagos state to makes the state attractive to domestic tourists, business travellers and stop-over passers-by.
The commissioner said major events listed in the calendar included the Gidi Fest, Lagos Water Regatta and the Fanti Carnival around the Easter Period.
According to him, the International Jazz Day celebration on April 30 will be dedicated to the South-African Jazz legend, Huge Masekela, while the Lagos Comedy Festival is for May 6 and the Eko Art Expo would hold in the last weekend in May.
The commissioner said that June would be rich with the first-ever Lagos Golf funfair and the Lagos cinefest, which was designed to take the cinema-going experience to all the five divisions of the state.
He said that the Lagos Festival of Plays would be a major highlight in the third quarter of the year, likewise the Lagos Fishing festival (Oshoroko) in Ibeju-Lekki, the Akwaaba Travel Market and the Faaji Agba – a special concert for the elderly to mark World Elders Day.
“October to December will be the most intense period on the calendar with the Olokun Festival, the MUSON Festival, AFRIMA, AFRIFF, the Kayo-Kayo Festival in Epe, the Lagos Luxury Summit/Fair, the Felabration, the Lagos Books & Arts Festival (LABAF), as well as the One Lagos Fiesta.
“The State is grateful to corporate sponsors who will make many of these events happen.
“Our aim is to use the calendar and other strategic initiatives to enrich the entertainment and cultural content to drive tourism promotion in this mega city,” Ayorinde added.