Music fans – 15 festivals in Africa for your next vacation

Music festivals in Africa will give you unforgettable experiences. Combining local and fusion music, the shows will take you on a breathtaking journey.

Here are 15 festivals for your next vacation:

1- Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, Morocco

Fez Festival: In Fez, music and water are sacred

Under the high patronage of His Majesty Mohamed VI, the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music and its Forum which were set up in 1994 and 2001 respectively, come within the scholarly, artistic and spiritual tradition of the city of Fez. Ever since its inception, this event has witnessed growing success. In 2001, the UNO declared the Festival as one of the most outstanding events that is contributing to the dialogue of civilizations.

Because of its magnetic attraction, the Festival has managed to gather artists of world fame from all horizons, sharing their quest for the sacred. The following are, but a few, names of such celebrities : Joan Baez, Patti Smith, Bjork, Ben Harper, Paco de Lucia, Ravi Shankar, Sabah Fakhri, Kadhem Saher, Mounir Bachir, Asmaa Lamnawwar, Wadi Al Safi, Julia Boutros, Sheikh Yassin Al Tuhami, William Christie, Barbara Hendricks, Jessie Norman, Jordi Saval, Tereza Berganza, Montserrat Figueras, Jean-Claude Casadessus, Arch Shepp, Randy Weston, Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita.

Twenrty three editions of the Festival have elapsed, with quite a number of surprises, for the Festival also thrives to being a nursery that reveals to the public talents still unknown, or an event that supports daring projects, freshly born from the imagination of adventurous musicians and poets. Since a few years, now, and under the instigation of its artistic director, the Festival has also been initiating pluri-disciplinary creations of a great dimension that are presented at the opening of the Festival events. Some ninety artists have sometimes succeeded each other on the stage.

2- Lake of Stars of Festival, Malawi

The Lake of the Stars Festival is on the shores of Lake Malawi. It is an international festival that brings local and international music acts together. It is even broadcasted on global networks. It is a fusion of music that promotes culture and tourism in Malawi. This festival brings new light and perspective to the image of Malawi and African music.

Some famous names performed at this festival include Andy Cato (Groove Armada), Beverley Knight, Bombay Bicycle Club, Christian Tiger School, Felix B (Basement Jaxx), Foals, Freshlyground, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, John Wizards, The Maccabees, Mafikizolo, Major Lazer, Mary Anne Hobbs, Mokoomba, Moonchild Sanelly, Nick Mulvey, The Noisettes, Oliver Mtukudzi, and many more.

3- Nyege Nyege, Uganda

Nyege Nyege, Uganda

The Nyege Nyege festival is an African music sensation. Right at the source of the Nile, in Jinja, you will find this festival. The festival is around four acres of lush, green tropical forest, complete with its private beach and sculptures.

Nyege Nyege is known as the African center of the worldwide bass music scene because it provides a unique opportunity to witness African electronic performers who rarely perform outside of their native nations.

The international lineup of artists includes artists from Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Kenya, South Africa, Niger, Burkina Faso, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Also, the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, Germany, Belgium, and Mexico, are curated by a team of musicians and promoters from Uganda and Europe.

4- Rocking the Daisies, South Africa

ocking the Daisies, South Africa

The Cloof Wine Estate near Darling hosts the Rocking the Daisies eco-friendly music and lifestyle festival (Western Cape). The event will feature the best live entertainment, lifestyle exhibits, and gourmet cuisine.

Each year they work to top the last as they showcase African music and international collaboration. It is a multi-genre music event, one of South Africa’s most significant music events.

5- Gnaoua World Music Festival Essouria, Moroccco

Gnaoua World Music Festival Essouria, Moroccco

The Gnaoua World Music Festival is an annual Gnawa music event held in Essaouira, Morocco.

The festival serves as a venue for music and discourse between international artists and the mysterious Gnaoua (Gnawa) performers. The Gnaoua masters invite jazz, pop, rock, and modern World music players to explore new possibilities in this melting pot of musical fusion. The festivals attract up to 500,000 attendees every year over four days; many of the performances are free to attend. A free event is always inviting and one not to miss.

6- Felabration Lagos, Nigeria

The Felabration festival is held in Lagos annually. It is a festival of African music and arts commemorating the life and music of the late Nigerian icon Fela Anikulakpo Kuti. The festival runs for a whole week with inspirational performances from local and international acts.

7- Afrochella Accra, Ghana

Afrochella Accra, Ghana

Afrochella is a festival that celebrates Africa’s unique culture and the colorful work of African artists and businesses. The festival aims to elevate and expose Africa’s exciting and burgeoning millennial talent by presenting an interactive event that teaches, explains, and explores many cultures through a pioneering method.

Afrochellans will be able to see and participate in African art and creative activations and enjoy luxury and refined cuisine.

8- Vic Falls Carnival

Vic Falls Carnival

The Victoria Falls Carnival is one of the biggest parties in Africa. It’s days of celebration, African Music with international acts. It usually sells out quickly, and accommodation varies from five-star hotels to camping sites. It is a musical adventure with people from all walks of life.

9- Mawazine, Rabat, Morocco

Mawazine, Rabat, Morocco

Mawazine (meaning “rhythms of the world”) is a Moroccan International music festival held annually in Rabat, Morocco, featuring many international and local music artists. The festival is presided over by Mounir Majidi, the personal secretary of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI and founder and president of Maroc Culture, the cultural foundation that organizes Mawazine and other events.

The 2019 festival was attended by an estimated 4 million people, making Mawazine the largest festival in the world after Donauinselfest in Vienna. With 90 acts on 7 stages it has the highest ratio of attendees per stage in the world.

Artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Charles Aznavour, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Demi Lovato, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Pharrell Williams, Iggy Azalea, Bruno Mars, Wiz Khalifa, Pitbull, Kanye West, Scorpions, La Fouine, Maître Gims, Damso, Booba, French Montana, Usher, Avicii, Akon, David Guetta, DJ Snake, Hardwell, Placebo, The Chainsmokers, Maroon 5, The Jacksons, Sugababes, Chic, Evanescence, Chris Brown, Luis Fonsi, Nick Jonas, Stromae, Jason Derulo, Juanes, Lenny Kravitz, The Weeknd, Kylie Minogue, Ellie Goulding, Sting, Julio Iglesias, Ennio Morricone, Robert Plant, Cat Stevens, B.B. King, Susana Baca, Carlos Santana, Elton John, Deep Purple and Travis Scott have performed at Mawazine.

10- Afropunk, Johannesburg, South Africa

Afropunk, Johannesburg, South Africa

The AFROPUNK Festival began as an underground urban indie-rock/punk/hardcore scene, spawned a documentary, evolved into an online community, morphed into a live-performance series, and is now an international event devoted to “the other black experience.”

A mash-up of artists, activists, and viewpoints. AFROPUNK is a two-day festival that blends African music, film, visual art, storytelling, and other forms of expression into a multi-cultural event that revels in diversity.

11- Sauti Za Busar

Sauti Za Busar

Sauti Za Busara festival is there to promote African music. It appreciates the rich diversity of East Africa. Initially, it was just for East African music. Still, it has since grown to incorporate music from the rest of Africa. And even from Africans in the diaspora. For people looking to experience new and unique African talent, this is the place to be.

12- Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa

Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is a grand gathering. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is the grandest event. It is star-studded with local and international artists. This is an event that calls on all the jazz enthusiasts. You need to book tickets in advance because accommodation is quick to fill up.

13- Asa Baako, Ghana

Asa Baako, Ghana

Here is another beach party never to forget. The Asa Baako is a five-day festival full of fun and dance. There is so much this festival offers that you will not want to attend just once. There is Live music, sound systems, beach parties, open-mics, tours, boat trips, beach games, yoga, etc. It is in the Western region of Ghana, on Busua Beach.

This festival is held annually during the first week of March.

14- Africa Nouveau, Kenya

Africa Nouveau, Kenya

The Africa Nouveau Festival arose from the successful Blankets and Wine Festival, which hosted over 50 events. With this new festival, the emphasis switches from solely on music to including other types of art and exquisite culinary pleasures. It’s a two-day celebration of African music, art, fashion, and food, and it’s as much fun as they come.

The Africa Nouveau festival is there every year in March.

15- Bushfire Festival, Swaziland

Bushfire Festival, Swaziland

MTN BUSHFIRE is Swaziland’s internationally famous music, and arts festival that celebrates creative expression. It promotes social responsibility while supporting the economy and attracting talent and tourists from across Africa and worldwide. With a medley of cultures, one should not miss this one.

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