African music with all the vast genres and forms is a true cultural force to reckon with, that’s why it attracts one of the largest attendances worldwide. With millions of congregations from both the motherlands natives and Diaspora revelers brought together by the love of Afro sound and connection to their cultural roots through music. Despite our music consumption being rapidly digitalized through the internet and streaming Giants, nothing feels close to the live sound experience of the African music, you simply can fabricate this electrifying experience.
While music festivals have offered great potential to African economies to expand they have also become a major inlet into other arts and cultures of the local societies that host them. Here are major festivals that you and your partners can experience the African magic through various popular homegrown brands from afro-beats in West Africa to Kwaito house in South Africa.
Sauti za Busara
Every February when sauti za Busara take place in Zanzibar, you get to Experience the African sounds of the wise whistle and fill the air in this beautiful tropical island south of Tanzania. Founded in 2003, the music festival from east of Africa presents 100% live music prioritized to curate a set of highlighting culturally relevant music acts, while paying attention to the diverse range of genres existing in middle and eastern Africa and as far as the west. Sauti za Busara is a major lucrative networking ground where label A&Rs, promoters and artist meet to provide a rare chance to witness the best East Africa has to offer while simultaneously enjoying the eccentric views the Ancient town of Zanzibar. The festival also has upgraded in the capacity of building sessions and workshop which provides a platform for knowledge sharing among musical professionals all over the world who make the pilgrimage. Over four days and nights, the festival is expected to program 400 musical acts and host about 20,000 people.
Asa Baako is programmed specifically to match the unique and rejuvenating environments in the western region of Ghana, where the thick tropical rain forest meets the sea, producing miles of white sand beaches. The five-day festival is a perfect getaway for black couples who are aiming to escape the stress of city life through the reenergizing music, blended with beach sports and lifestyle activities like surfing, beach football, yoga, canoeing, historical tours, fishing, and much more. Coinciding with Ghana’s Independence Day Weekend in the first week of March, the festival typically attracts about 2,000 local and foreign visitors to party day and nights on the beach and the vast rainforest.
Cape Town Jazz Festival
The grand Cape Town Jazz Festival is definitely a must-attend for black couples on the continent; you don’t even have to be a jazz fan. Probably one of the most prominent music events in Africa, the festival takes course over 2 days at the tail end of March and features a star-studded roster of global jazz acts. However, the festival has moved beyond the original name Genres to feature acts from diverse fields of expression such as hip hop, experimental, pop, afro beats etc. Cape Town jazz festival also has a well developed infrastructure to host various capacity building workshop sessions for artist, photographers, videographers, musical label execs, students and journalists.
Bush fire Festival
The flames of the bush fire festivals in Eswatinini have spread worldwide making it one of the most idolized music festivals, attracting over twenty six thousand people each year from over 60 countries to the south of Africa. It’s hosted at house on fire in the farmlands of the Malkerns Valley, set in the midst of the Mziba Mountains, offering visitors the chance to take in the dreamlike views through a camping experience. The rapid growing festival is a perfect excuse for you and your better half to dive into eSwantini culture through the crafts and food markets at the festivals whilst enjoying a mostly southern African music line up with sprinkles of Afro beats, hip hop, jazz and soul.
Nyege Nyege Festival
Nyege Nyege Festival is just in its fourth year is already turning heads all over the continent. Set in a forest right by the source of the Nile in Jinja, Uganda, the 4-day East Africa music festival is now home to some of the best electronic music stages on the continent as it fuses underground and gritty electro-pop with global house and pop grooves through all-day performances by the banks of the Nile and parties through the night in the deep forest. Nyege Nyege is an exciting prospect to put on your list as its reputation for putting on the freshest electronic music keeps growing, making it one of the best places to discover new and classic African electronic music.
Another giant of the Southern African music touring circuit which still maintains its rock music core despite expanding the sonic palate of the 24-year-old festival towards soul, jazz, house and pop music. This epic festival takes places over 3 jam-packed days on a farm near the mining town of Northam in South Africa with seven musical stages feeding the 20,000 people who make the pilgrimage each August. A rite of passage for hardcore African musical fans, Oppikoppi was key to popularizing rock music in South Africa and continues to be one of the best platforms to experience the bliss of innovation in the realms of experimental sound.
Felabration was born out of the urgent need to celebrate Fela Kuti one of the greatest African songwriters of all time. The 11-year-old afro beats festival held each year brings together a host of artists who either contributed to the birth of Fela Kuti’s distinct style or were inspired by his wizardry with music and courage with social issues to craft their own sound. Felabration is a most ingenious and popular forms of African music: Afrobeats.
Festival au Desert
The nomadic of the Sahara desert have mastered the acoustic blue guitar like no else on this planet to create the much adored genre, desert rock. Band like Terakaft and Tinariwen have shown the world blissfully powerful stories of the lives of the desert nomads through soulful blues melodies historical town of Timbuktu in Mali, the festival is home to the range of musical expression that exists among various ethnic groups that exist among various ethnic groups that inhabit the Sahara desert. Festival au desert is currently on a hiatus due to various security issues in the region.
Lake of stars
Malawi’s lake of stars festival is another African musical festival that has become a site of global music pilgrimage over the years. The shores of Africa’s third largest lake, Lake Malawi cradles the highly-rated three-day celebration of music and that has been taking place annually since 2004 and attracts about 4,000 visitors from all over the world. Like bush fire festival using the love of music as the main artery to feed the world the wealth of creative expression coming from the country.
Sabolai Radio Music Festival
This is the sacred shrine of independent experimental music in Accra, Ghana. The festival, which started as indie Fuse before rebranding as Sabolai Radio, continues to provide an alternative to the dozens of entertainment activities that take place
If you are looking for more variety – we shared some other real couple goals already: here >>> Check it out.