By Charles Mgbolu
Fans of Kenyan Afropop band Sauti Sol are preparing to say tearful goodbyes as the final countdown to the band's farewell concerts and shows on the African continent and across the globe gets underway.
Sauti Sol made a shocking announcement in May 2023 that the group was disbanding after 18 years together and members would individually go on an indefinite hiatus after the conclusion of the final farewell concert scheduled for November 2 in Nairobi.
However, tickets for the concert have been building a buzz online and offline, with many fans doing a double take at the price attached to them.
The VIP event will cost fans 20,000 Kenyan shillings ($138), according to organisers, who have accompanied the price tag with an enticing offer.
It includes a banquet-style dinner, welcome drinks, a Sauti Sol merchandise pack, a Sauti Sol meet and greet, and above all, an intimate stage performance by Sauti Sol.
The band has promised to perform their hearts out, saying, ‘’It’s not just the end of an era, but the beginning of a legacy that will forever remain etched in the hearts of their fans.’’
But the ticket price is snapping many star-struck fans out of their reverie.
‘’You guys can’t do this to us, wrote @terrylnemboya on X, formerly Twitter.
‘’I will have to peep through the fence to watch the concert, wrote another fan, @reccro, also on X.
Others reminded the group of the high cost of living currently experienced in Kenya, while a few others asked if the group planned to perform the impossible during the event.
Despite the criticism, many fans have come to their defence, including Kenyan singer and songwriter Bensoul.
‘’If it's difficult for you to raise 20,000 by November, then you have a long way to go. Let those of us who are rich go to the concert because we will definitely be there,'’ he wrote on X.
His tweet raised more uproar from fans, forcing Sauti Sol bandmates Bien Aime Baraza and Savara Mudigi to speak publicly on the issue.
In interviews with local media, they stressed that the ticket prices are justified.
"We are giving you 20 years of our lives; we have been together for 20 years. That ticket price is worth the 20 years we have been together," Bien said.
Savara added that the ticket prices also reflect the rising cost of living and the high production costs of the concert.
"The cost of doing the concert is really expensive as well. We are not trying to take advantage of people," Savara said.
The band also said that they want to give their fans a memorable experience at the concert.
The debate still rages as the ticket price has left fans deeply divided, with hardcore fans vowing to leap through ‘financial fire’ to purchase the tickets.
Music pundits, however, are confident that the final concert will be a sell-out, with non-VIP tickets that cost 2,500 Kenyan shillings already sold out barely one month after hitting the ticket stands.