UK: Police confirm Leicester venue licence breach as Makhadzi fails to perform amid anger over near-stampede; watch video of chaos

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By UK Correspondent

  • Angry fans in near-stampede at venue entrance as security struggled for control 
  • South Africa’s Makhadzi and Uganda’s Nwagi fail to make it to the stage
  • ‘Apology’ show organised for next day and scheduled for 2pm only started after 8pm

THERE was a heavy police presence at the Ramgarhia Community Centre in Leicester Sunday morning as an unexplained fire alarm aborted the JamAfro music festival which featured Zimbabwean stars Alick Macheso, Sulumani Chimbetu Botswana’s Vee Mampeezy, South Africa’s Makhaadzi as well as Ugandan Winnie “Nakanwagi” Nwagi.

Makhaadzi and Nwagi failed to make it to the stage altogether with the organisers arranging a free “apology” show for Sunday afternoon which only started around 8pm, despite being scheduled for 2pm.

Mampeezy was in the middle of his set when the fire alarm went off just after 3am on what turned out to be a night to forget for many music fans due to the chaotic organisation and a near-stampede at the entrance to the hall as security struggled to control the crowds.

While security fought back angry fans still trying to get into the hall as late as midnight, inside tempers were also flaring over Makhadzi’s delayed performance with Sulumani Chimbetu on stage for nearly two hours while Macheso’s set lasted more than an hour.

Fans were then told to leave the hall around 4 am after the fire alarm was triggered before Nwagi and Makhadzi took to the stage.




In a response to local media inquiries seen by, Leicester police said the show was brought to an end due to a breach of the venue’s licencing conditions.

“Following information regarding an event at a premises in Ulverscroft Road, Leicester, on Saturday evening, officers engaged with staff at the premises during the evening to remind staff of the licensing conditions in place and to help ensure these conditions were being followed,” said media relations officer Narinder Punia.

These licensing conditions were breached during the early hours of Sunday morning. Officers liaised with staff at this time allowing music to be played later in order to try to help prevent disorder and to help keep people safe.

“At 3.44am on Sunday, police did receive a report of a fight at the premises. When officers attended, no fight was taking place and people were leaving the area. One male reported being assaulted and had suffered minor injuries.”

Organisers, JamAfro, apologised for the Makhadzi no-show, blaming venue owners for the licence breach.

“Jamafro wishes to apologise to those people who attended the Jamafro Music Festival in Leicester hoping to see Makhadzi perform. Makhadzi was brought to the venue ready for her performance as the last act after Vee Mampeezy,” the organisers said in a statement.

“However the police had to stop the show citing the venue license that requires them to close at 2am. We had booked the venue from 6pm to 4am . Upon showing the police our contract we were allowed to carry on for another hour.

“At that moment Vee Mampeezy was in the middle of his performance. By the time he finished it was not possible for Makhadzi to get on stage as the police were back to order us to stop.

“The venue owners admitted and apologised to us as they gave us a time they knew very well they don’t have a license to carry on to that time.”

Makhadzi also apologised to her fans promising to make it up to them at a free family show arranged by the organisers Sunday afternoon.

The free ‘apology show’ which was also supposed to feature Vee Mampeezy, Macheso, and Sulumani Chimebtu was scheduled to start at 1400 hours at a cricket club in Nottingham.

However, Mampeezy, who was the first set, only went on stage after 2000 hours.