Africa is abundant in music festivals offering great experiences in both cultural tones unique to the magnificent continent and its countries, as well as gatherings of people enjoying worldwide music and its rhythms. Planning a trip to the continent around these Africanmusic festivals is sure to be an unforgettable journey, and we have the top 10 music festivals to experience.
Set in the lovely historic Stone Town in Zanzibar, this festival sets to bring together around 400 artists and musicians. An array of live original Tanzanian musical styles and Swahili hip hop, it aims to not only be enjoyable but also promotes peace and harmony amongst other things through art. It has been named on both BBC and CNN as “must see festival” within the African continent. This Africanmusicfestival usually takes place in February and dates for 2017 at the moment are 12th – 17th February.
This is one not to be missed by music lovers all over. Held in lovely Cape Town, a coastal city of South Africa with breath-taking bays and beaches, this Africanmusicfestival started in 2000 and has since been ranked as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering”, and is the largest music event in the sub- Saharan. Taking place on either the last weekend in March or first weekend in April it boasts 5 different stages and over 40 artists promoting both South African artists as well as International musicians. It is a two-day event of musical brilliance.
Perhaps an “out of the world” experience for those who venture out in the hope to find something different, this gathering is sure to please. Through music, dance and temporary art burning this Africanmusicfestival aims to enlighten the individual and promote self-discovery. It’s about giving without expecting anything in return. Everything at the festival is free…except for the ice and the festival itself is based around 11 principles which can be seen and read more about on its site. A private farm known as Stonehenge sets the background for this adventure and provides “a middle of nowhere” semi-desert environment, which just happens to be located opposite Tankwa Karoo National Park in South Africa. Held each year from the 24th – 30th April, this musical gathering aims to reinvent the world through music.
Set in the heart of Harare, the lovely capital of Zimbabwe, this Africanmusicfestival is known to be one of the most organized and largest cultural gatherings in the sub-continent. An excellent display of the cultural and art world spread over 6 days. Usually from the 30th April – 5th May, this festival celebrates local, regional and international arts. You can work through this festival and be sure to get your experience of an array of wonders from theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance and spoken word. Started in 1999, the festival has now become known as, “A symbol of something positive”, and is definitely not one for the music lovers to miss.
An Africanmusicfestival that aims to give you a magical history lesson based on slavery and the African Holocaust, The International Rootz Festival set in the beautiful Gambia in May, celebrates not only the African rhythm but the journey and history of the continent and its people. Aiming to rebuild relationships and celebrate Africa as a whole, through a journey of music, carnival joys, food and drink.
For adventurers wanting a taste of a typical stunning African bush country then this festival takes you to Swaziland. A small but fully loaded cultural country who celebrates its heritage and its people to a deeply high standard. Lying between two other African beauties, Mozambique and South Africa, Swaziland is a treasure unto itself. And it brings you, The Bushfire Festival, usually held on 27th – 29th May this three day festival is not only a celebration of African artists from its own much loved artist, Bholojia to Zimbabwean’s legendary Oliver Mtukudzi but a journey through arts and cultural activities. “Bushfire has illuminated and inspired over the last ten years and in the process has become a celebrated AfricanFestival” – Festival Founder and Director Jiggs Thorne.
Surround yourself for eight days with mystical chanters and dancers from around the world in Morocco. Held from 8th to 16th June in the third largest city in Morocco, Fez. This Africanmusicfestival is for the music and food lovers alike, as not only will you be enchanted by the spiritual music but so too the array of amazing food and flavours to tingle your taste buds. Making this quite the spiritual festival to take part in.
Let the golden sands run through your feet as you absorb the mixture of Cape Verdean rhythm beats and international music. This festival set on a full moon weekend in August captures all that is beautiful about this West African paradise known as Cape Verde Islands. A huge beach gathering with open air live music celebrating the Verdean culture through great music, food and lots of beer over 3 days.
Taking its name from its stunning venue, Lake Malawi also named Lake of Stars by the explorer Dr David Livingstone, this festival promises to be generally a good time. With a collaboration of great Malawian Reggae and Hip Hop Afro Indie music, and with the third largest lake in Africa being your background view. Throw in some good home cooked Malawian cuisine and friendly natives that give Malawi its name of being the “Warm heart of Africa”, and you are in store for a genuinely unforgettable adventure, over three days. Late September is the date to set in your calendar for this one.
And just to end your year, why not do it in style at one of the largest Africanmusic festivals, in the same setting as one of the wonders of the world, The Victoria Falls, “Mosi oa Tunya”. Held in Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe, this musical festivity started in 2009 and has only grown to be one of the biggest parties in Africa to end your year and welcome in the new one. Held over 3 nights from 29th December till the early hours of the 1st of January, all you have to do as a music lover is bring yourself and be ready to party to the different sounds of musicians and DJ’s through the night.