FIVE

FOLLY: Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted the 5th EatDrinkFestival to be ICONIC.

NOSA: After EatDrinkFestival in December, there were a couple of complaints. From poor parking to traffic to vendor arrangement. All standard stuff for what it’s worth. There was one complaint that stood out, however. It’s shame I can’t find the instagram post because for almost a year, it has stuck with me. The lady was complaining about traffic, but one sentence in particular stood out for me. She said something along the lines of “GTB had an event on this road and the traffic wasn’t this bad”. It was a whole rant.

FOLLY: Not many people know this but EatDrinkFestival IV was my least satisfying edition. All the best laid plans that the team had made didn’t go as we had arranged them, and I was incredibly frustrated.

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NOSA: We started these festivals three years ago in a small Ikoyi compound. Since then, we’ve grown to this point where we are being compared to GTB. Sure, it wasn’t a compliment but it says a lot about how people perceive EatDrinkFestival. Internally, I’ve often looked at ourselves as some plucky underdogs, but clearly that’s not the reality of it.

The rules have changed. What might have been excused in the past won’t be excused anymore. In some ways, it is unbelievably scary. You start something hoping you get to a place like this and now that I’m here, I’m scared shitless. All these life coaches talk about working hard to make your dreams a reality, but what happens when you get to that point? Do you dream new dreams?

Well, yes. That’s exactly what you do.

FOLLY: So in January, I decided that I wanted the fifth edition of EatDrinkFestival to be iconic and I was going to use Jollof to practice. After implementing some of the learnings at Jollof and they worked, I was excited about EatDrinkFestival again.

NOSA: We’ve done a lot of growing up in 2018. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve done it.

FOLLY: I love that with each and every festival that Eat.Drink.Lagos organizes, we learn how to do certain elements better and are able to eliminate it in future editions. I acknowledge that traffic and parking will always require constant improvement but we’re committed to designing an experience that we’d want to attend as guests too, so we’re working with the best contractors to make the festival experience seamless. No half measures AT ALL.

NOSA: Personally, one big thing I’ve learnt from our experiences is that we create real value. No more going into meetings just happy to be there. We’ve earned our place. EatDrinkFestival is a “thing”.

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FOLLY: The best thing about solving logistical challenges is that you can start focusing on the big picture. Everytime we get invited on a Podcast or interview, to close we’re always asked “What’s Next?”.

I think I can say it now, EatDrinkFestival is going to Abuja next.

But before then, EatDrinkFestival V is happening in Lagos and not just on one day, it’ll be a two day festival for the first time on December 26 & 27, 2018.

NOSA: For our fifth edition, sponsors aren’t just sponsors anymore. They’re partners.

FOLLY: And with that, it’s time to mention another big change for December. After a pleasant couple of years with Stanbic IBTC, we have a new presenting sponsor.

From our fifth edition, Sterling Bank will be the festival’s presenting sponsor. We’re ecstatic to be collaborating with a brand and people that understand what it is that we’re trying to build.

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NOSA: It wasn’t the easiest decision, but we felt they really understood what we want to achieve with the festival. Sterling Bank is an ambitious bank on the rise and we believe we can do amazing things together.

FOLLY: We’re not trying to recreate the past with EatDrinkFestival V; we’re moving to the next level.

NOSA: And that’s why this year’s edition will run for two days and not one like usual.

FOLLY: Solving complex logistical challenges is only one half of EatDrinkFestival, the festival also requires creativity and the fashioning of unique experiences.

NOSA: In recent years, we’ve missed out on some amazing vendors because we filled out all our slots. More importantly, we’ve had lots of complaints about how the festival manages its human traffic. To kill two birds with one stone and fix both problems, we extended the festival. People get to pick what day they want to attend and we get to fit in more vendors. A win win.

There are a couple more new additions to the festival and we’ll announce those in the coming weeks. Until then, clear your December schedule and save the date. You’re hanging out with us for Christmas.