Africa Oyé, UK’s Biggest Festival of African Music & Culture Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Following a three-year break due to the Coronavirus restrictions, UK’s largest festival of African music and culture returned to Sefton Park. Thousands of people attended Liverpool’s 30th annual Africa Oyé event.
The 40,000-person capacity two-day event began on Saturday and ended on Sunday, June 19. The festival began in 1992 as a series of small performances in the city centre, but has now grown in popularity, moving to its current location in Sefton Park, Liverpool in 2002 to accommodate increased demand.
With too many negative representations of Africa entrenched in images of war, disease, poverty, and famine, Oyé aims to redress the balance by highlighting the fantastic range of cultures, foods, music, and artists that make this great continent one of the most vibrant and inspiring in the world.
According to the Sunday Times, “this isn’t just the largest festival of African and Caribbean music in Britain, it’s the best.”
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At this year’s celebration, Oumou Sangaré, the Grammy Award-winning singer, and DJ Edu are among the acts performing at the event, which is supported in part by Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England. Fuse ODG, a Ghanaian rapper, and Eek-A-Mouse, a reggae musician, also performed at the event.
Other operforming acts included: Santrofi, Tabanka Djaz, Kanda Bongo Man, Valérie Ekoumé, Ni Maxine, L100 Cypher, Newen Afrobeat, Elida Almeida, Kizaba, Nazeem and Staged Kaos.
The festival is a truly global event that celebrates diversity and tolerance. It has hosted performers from all around Africa, as well as music from South America and the Caribbean, with Salsa, Soca, and Reggae always being popular.
However, Africa Oyé is more than just a music festival, it also hosts more than 90 stalls showcasing the greatest African food, drink, arts & crafts, and fashion.
Abeeb Lekan Sodiq is a Managing Editor & Writer at theafricandream.net. He is as well a Graphics Designer and also known as Arakunrin Lekan.