Interview: Gilbert of the Barge Party People

Gilbert Mwebaze

Gilbert Mwebaze (G-Low) is a part of the Barge Party People team who are responsible for organising the Barge Pary 2014 which will take place on Saturday, 23 August 2014, in Kibuye, Kargoni, outside Hotel Golf. Tickets are on sale at The Office in Kiyovu for Rwf 15,000 and at the barge for Rwf 20,000. This year’s party has a limit of 250 guests. Check their Facebook events page for more info!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a tech professional who has been playing music for 5 years in Rwanda. Originally from Uganda, I moved to Rwanda 10 years ago to work in the tech field. I started dj-ing purely for the love of music and the need of quality entertainment that was not readily available. I continue to play music mostly for exclusive parties like the Barge Party.

Who are the Barge Party People?

The Barge Party People aim to be ridiculous. We organize extreme social and nightlife events that combine the best of lights, sounds, and high seas. We are the organising team responsible for bringing this event to you this year. We also organized Barge Party 2013, the Halloween Party 2013. We are a big group of locals and expats with a love for music, art and fun.

Also, all who attend our events are honorary Barge Party People. So in that sense, we roll with an extra crew of 150 people who attended Barge Party 2013 and 300+ people who attended our Halloween Party at Caiman.

Tell us more about Barge Party.

Barge Party is a completely unique all-night dance experience on Lake Kivu, near Kibuye. It’s about finding freedom on Lake Kivu. It’s about coming together, under the stars, above the waters, and dancing. Like last, we’ll transform a 90 meter concrete barge into a party platform, and we go all night with international DJ’s such as myself and Pang DJ. This year’s edition of Barge Party will be even more exciting. The spirit of the event remains the same; host the best party of the year, transform a working machine into a work of art, and inspire people to dance.

How is this year’s party different than last year’s?

Different is not the word. It’s also going to be better than last year’s. The Barge Party is already unique from the usual entertainment offerings in Rwanda and anyone who attended last year will attest to this. How we are planning to make it better?

We re-imagined the event as more than just a party. It’s a total arts event. We’re proud to partner with Ivuka Arts to bring you a completely unique experience with fun arts and party activities on board. There will be musical guests for live music. Logistically, we’ll set off earlier this year, and we have transportation from Kigali available for whoever books on time. We will have a better chilling area on the barge for people who want to take a break from dancing.

And of course, the best things won’t change. Great music, life preservers, free beer, a fun bunch of barge party people, and the most beautiful sunrise on the lake.

What do you think of Rwanda’s current arts and music scene?

The current art scene is picking up and much better from when I moved here. There are a lot of new offerings in the music scene, as well as exciting new art-related activities. Art galleries like Ivuka and Inema Arts. Kurema street art/murals. Global art activism projects, like Inside Out at The Office. Music festivals like Kigali Up. The Ten Commandments, the first musical to be staged in Rwanda. With such a bunch of artistic and talented people there it can only get better.

What does the future look like?

This is just the beginning. We want transform the nightlife and entertainment scene in Rwanda. We’re already looking at upcoming events in the fall, at exclusive locations in Kigali.

But more than anything, Barge Party is about a new way of life. It’s not just good events or parties. Rather, it’s about good friends and good music, and transforming the usual into the unique. It’s about being a little ridiculous and enjoying ourselves. If you can think and experience outside the ordinary, and enjoy life, then you’re Barge Party People.

About Kirsty

A Canadian who left in 2001 to wander around the world in search of sun, beautiful views and goat brochettes. Found Kigali in July 2010 and it seems like the perfect fit. I expect to be here until I get kicked out for defiantly walking on the grass while wearing flip flops.