Sponsorship for Lake of Stars 2018 – The 15th Anniversary Will


Travel & Accommodation Check back in March

Artist, Vendor, Volunteer Applications Now open for London. Coming soon for Glasgow. Check back in February for Malawi.

Media Enquiries & Accreditation Beth (international) or Zilanie (Malawi) 

About the Project

Lake of Stars promotes Malawian arts and tourism through international interaction and exposure. We organise festivals on the shores of Lake Malawi and run events in Europe and across Africa.



Artist applications are now open for our London show on 10 March in Walthamstow, and our Glasgow show on 11 March.

We are looking for live acts, DJs, poets, theatre groups, and short films (max. 10 minutes), and are especially keen to hear from acts based in Waltham Forest, Scotland and those from the African diaspora. The call-out is for artists based in the UK only.

Please email by 19 January with:

  1. Name of your act
  2. Type of act (e.g. DJ, poet)
  3. Your location
  4. Describe your act in max. 3 sentences
  5. Links (e.g. social media, website, SoundCloud, YouTube)

Please note these are fundraising events so our budget is small. We can only cover expenses for most artists. 


Will Jameson set up the Lake of Stars Project in 2003 to encourage international tourism to Malawi, taking inspiration from events like WOMAD and Glastonbury.  The project uses cultural tourism to generate revenue and exposure for Malawi. The project was born from a desire to raise money for a developing economy, help promote Malawi as a tourist destination and expose Malawian artists to an international audience. Will Jameson first visited Malawi in 1998 when he worked in Dwangwa as a volunteer with the Wildlife Society for 6 months. During that time he travelled to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.

On returning to England Will took with him a souvenir – an empty carton of Chibuku Shake Shake beer. Half way through university at Liverpool John Moores he decided to start a clubnight with friends. They named the night after the Malawian beer and went on to win Best UK Club in the Mixmag Awards in 2004. It was in this same year that Will launched the first Lake of Stars Festival, headlined by Chibuku favourite Andy Cato from Groove Armada.

The festival attracted dozens of people from Europe and hundreds attended from all over Malawi and Southern Africa. It won the Malawi Tourism Award in its first year and has grown to become one of the best known African festivals on the global circuit. The festival is set on the shimmering, palm-fringed shores of Lake Malawi. Malawian and international artists gather for a musical, social and cultural exchange in a festival location like no other. After 4 festivals at Chintheche Inn on the northern lakeshore, the festival moved to Salima in 2008, and then to Mangochi in 2009. In 2013, the festival came to the capital Lilongwe as City of Stars. Back on the lake in Mangochi in 2014 and 2015, for 2016 the festival is returning to its roots in the north, back on the pristine white sands of Chintheche Inn.

The festival acts as the focal point when travelling around this beautiful country, forming part of an itinerary spanning all that Malawi has to offer. After taking a break from the festival in 2012 to support local initiatives, the project returned to Malawi in 2013 with City of Stars, our ten year anniversary event that took place in September. A multi-venue arts festival and conference, City of Stars showcased the best in emerging and acclaimed talent from Malawi and beyond, and featured an eclectic programme of live music, film, theatre, exhibitions and speakers. It promoted Malawian culture and creativity as well as attracting international artists and arts practitioners.

International headliners at Lake of Stars events have included Afrikan Boy, Andy Cato (Groove Armada), Annie Mac, Beverley Knight, Bombay Bicycle Club, Christian Tiger School, Eddy Temple-Morris, Felix B (Basement Jaxx), Foals, Freshlyground, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Gilles Peterson, Goldfish, Goldierocks, Jon McClure (Reverend and the Makers), Joe Goddard (Hot Chip), John Wizards, DJ Kelechi, K’naan, The Maccabees, Mafikizolo, Mary Anne Hobbs, Mokoomba, Nick Mulvey, The Noisettes, Oliver Mtukudzi, Reason, Ric Hassani, Rob da Bank, Rodney P & Skitz, Sauti Sol, Selmor Mtukudzi, Seth Lakeman, Stanley Odd, Sway, Toya Delazy, Tumi, Uhuru, The Very Best, YADi, DJ Yoda, Young Fathers, DJ Wildcat 74/5, Zeus, Zone Fam, and many more.

Festival Figures for Lake of Stars 2015

  • 79 Malawian acts performed at Lake of Stars 2015
  • 81 artists and creative practitioners took part in 4 seminars and workshops
  • 70+ volunteers from Malawi powered the festival working across a range of roles
  • Over 1.6 million reached through our marketing campaign
  • $1,468,119 million was generated
  • 800 non-Malawian visitors attended so 34% of the ticket holding audience







Lake of Stars Applications

If you’re interested in being a part of our September 2018 festival in Malawi, watch this space: applications will open in February. The information below should give you an idea of the application process, although details may change so be sure to check back nearer the time.

If you’re interested in applying to be part of either of our March shows in London or Glasgow, see more info at the top of this page.


Artists have the opportunity to perform on state-of-the-art equipment in front of international media at Lake of Stars, a project with a media reach of 200 million. We massively appreciate the effort that artists make to perform at the festival. The event generates over $1 million for the Malawian economy and you are part of that process. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Please be aware that Lake of Stars can unfortunately only cover a few international headline acts’ expenses and the majority of artists from outside of Malawi perform for free. For most acts outside of Malawi we cannot cover travel costs but may be able to offer free accommodation or camping for the weekend, guest list allocation, and catering on the day of your performance.

If you are coming from outside of Malawi you must state clearly in your application how you will cover your costs in order to attend the festival. There are a number of organisations that help with artist travel such as arts councils, Art Moves Africa, SAMRO, and Hivos International.

Applications will open in February 2018.


Vendors are an integral part of the festival experience.Commercial vendors, social enterprises, and NGOs are all welcome to apply for a chance to engage with our onsite community. With thousands of people gathered on the beach for three days, it’s a great opportunity for business owners to reach new customers, promote their brand, and make some fantastic sales. We have a limited number of pitches and are keen to provide an excellent variety of products and services to festival-goers. In previous years we have had over 4,500 people onsite.

If you are looking to get visibility or are representing a brand, then please enquire about our sponsorship opportunities by emailing

Lake of Stars can provide food vendors with a stall, an electricity point, simple lighting, and space for three tents for crew camping onsite. Five staff members per food stall will have free entry onsite; additional staff members will need to purchase a ticket.

NGOs and non-food vendors will provide their own stalls. Space for one tent for crew camping will be provided onsite. Non-food stalls are allocated free entry for two staff members only; additional staff members will need to purchase a ticket.

Fees for 2018 food vendors and for NGOs and non-food vendors will be announced when applications open.

There will be police and private security present at the festival site. Lake of Stars, however, will not be liable for any cash or product theft. Successful applicants will be asked to inform their customers that they will have a stall at Lake of Stars. Posters will be provided.


We look for volunteers for a range of activities to aid production of the festival such as stewards, runners, stage managers, artist liaisons, and photographers. All volunteer positions are unpaid but Lake of Stars will accommodate volunteers in a tent or a dormitory and will provide transport within Malawi to and from the festival. Festival volunteers must be available from the Wednesday before the festival to the Monday after it.


For more information, contact Beth (international) or Zilanie (Malawi).

Lake of Stars has become much more than a musical festival, it is a celebration of artistic expression, and increasingly, a platform to launch young Malawian talent – The Mail & Guardian

One of Africa’s most respected music festivals – CNN

Top 20 Festivals in the World  The Independent

Known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’ because of the incredibly friendly and welcoming locals, combined with a rich musical history, Malawi couldn’t be a better place to hold a festival. There’s a bit of planning involved in getting to Lake Of Stars but a paradise awaits when you arrive  Virtual Festivals

…the life-affirming Lake of Stars offers a fascinating opportunity to experience the musical pulse of this inspiring country – David Taylor, The Independent

This has been a life changing experience for all us…come here for the people, come for the music, come for the famous Malawian hospitality, come here for that lake…just make sure that you come here soon – Jo Good, MTV / BBC6Music

…be ahead of the crowd and get acquainted with Malawian music in situ… great music, friendly people, and a beautiful location. Get there before everyone else does – Simon Broughton, Songlines / Wanderlust

The annual Lake of Stars festival is bringing international flair to Malawi’s palm-fringed shores – Mari McCloy, Mail & Guardian

…truly, it changed my life – Paul MacInnes, The Guardian

The tourist brochures bill Malawi as ‘the warm heart of Africa’, and for once the hype is true. Malawi’s scenery is gorgeous and varied and Malawians are extremely friendly toward travellers – Lonely Planet

In today’s saturated festival climate Lake of Stars is utterly unique.  It redefines the festival experience as we know it…there isn’t another festival like this on the planet – The Metro