As one of the most anticipated festivals of Liverpool’s music calendar comes within reaching distance, Africa Oyé announce the full proceedings for their DJ line-ups across the event. Featuring the likes of DJ Edu, Andy Kershaw and ESA Williams, their 25-year anniversary celebrations are set to the biggest yet…
25 years ago, Africa Oyé started out across a small number of inner-city venues in Liverpool. A free event celebrating and showcasing the diaspora of African culture across the world through food, music and art of all descent. These days, the festival resides within the glorious Sefton Park, paying host to people of all ages, coming together to celebrate multiculturalism.
This June, as 25 years passes, the team behind this magnificent heritage festival welcome a huge array of artists to Liverpool from across the globe. Performances come from Jamaican roots reggae artist, Max Romeo and nominee at the World Music Awards Dobet Gnahoré. In addition to Africa Oyé’s strong live offering, a whole host of nationally acclaimed DJs, as well as local rising talent, have just been announced to fill the bill this year, taking residency across the festival at the Trenchtown stage and the newly announced Freetown area.
Featuring on the main stage will be DJ Edu, an Africa Oyé veteran and BBC Radio 1 Extra legend and Esa Williams of South Africa. Edu, known widely as one of the leading DJ’s of afrobeats, made a name for himself in the early 90’s touring the party scene across Nairobi and eastern parts of Africa before moving to the UK as the millennium passed. Performing alongside Edu is Esa Williams a producer who has collaborated with a number of highly acclaimed afrobeat producers. This includes his work with Auntie Flo on the Highlife World Series, a project exploring the talent of young musicians across the globe paired with the creative potential of traditional instruments. So far the series has released musical works that focus on three areas across the African continent including Kenya, Uganda & Cuba.
As Africa Oyé continues to see growth in attendance year on year, it is not only the main stage that boasts a diverse selection of talent. With the addition of a brand new area, Freetown, the expansion of the festival creates more space for creative freedom and expression across a number of different platforms. Freetown not only increases the drinking capacity with a newly added bar but also caters to the younger crowds with the Afrobeats Zone, an Afro-centric hub exploring global beats from a variety local Liverpool DJs and guests from across the UK. Whether it’s by way of So Flute’s Bolts showcasing African sounds from across the spectrum, a selection of reggae dub from Dave Butcher or music from Rich Furness, No Fakin!, Chris McBride, Dharma Collective Africa Synth, the Freetown and Afrobeats area highlights some of the finest musical selectors that our city has to offer. Check out the full line-up for this stage below!
Back for another year, the Trenchtown stage boasts a well-devised DJ line-up across the weekend. Saturday at Trenchtown features Radio 1’s Andy Kershaw, Liverpool’s finest Hustle DJs and music aficionados Ex-Friendly & Joff to name a few. Leaving very few stones unturned, Kershaw will be plotting music history as he plays from Soukouss to Salsa, Roots Reggae to Rai and Soca to South African Township Jive. Sunday sees an influx of dub, reggae, roots and dancehall come to the forefront of the Trenchtown stage with appearances from Marley & Vegas, Dub Defenders and Red Kite among others.
Collaborating with a number of promoters across the city, Africa Oyé doesn’t stop in the fields of Sefton Park. Venture out to one of 4 different official after-parties at some of the finest and most forward-thinking venues around Liverpool. From the Kazimier Gardens to 24 Kitchen street to Hangar 34, you are spoilt for choice when deciding where to head next. If it’s Africa infused house and disco, be sure to follow Hustle to Hangar34 as they welcome revered record collector, The Mighty Zaff, for a Liverpool city debut. If you’re hoping to continue on the outdoor atmospherics with some of Liverpool’s most diverse selectors, look no further than The Kazimier Garden or if it’s club focus afro-beat and dancehall on your mind, it is worth checking out 24 Kitchen Streets official after-party…
Yet another year of Africa Oyé and the team behind the festival’s meticulous programming must be commended. It is certainly not a small task ensuring all music across the weekend ventures into the furthest corner of African culture but with hard work and attention to detail, they have certainly achieved this.
For more information, follow the links below!