Featured
Seun Kuti at Felabration. Photo: OkayAfrica.

The 10 Best African Music Festivals

Here are ten of the best music festivals to experience across the African continent, including both established stages and newer productions.

African music, in all its genres and forms, has one of the largest congregations in the world, with millions of people both on the continent and in the diaspora celebrating their love and connection to their culture through sound. Despite the rapid digitization of our music consumption through the internet and streaming services, nothing will ever beat the experience of live music.

Music festivals have become a great inlet into the arts and cultures of the societies that host them, while offering great potential to local economies and countless business opportunities for African artists to grown their brands. Yet this pivotal part of the music experience on the continent is never really prioritized, despite the vast number of festival with diverse genres available all year round, all over Africa.

Therefore, in no particular order, here are ten African music festivals to bookmark.

Keep reading... Show less
Video

Ngoni Master Bassekou Kouyate Returns With 'Desert Nianafing'

To honor the upcoming Malian concert, Festival au Desert, Ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate shares a new track and accompanying video, "Desert Nianafing."

Bassekou-Kouyaté-Desert-Nianafing-Video

In anticipation of Festival au Desert, the Malian concert that will make its return in 2015, ngoni pioneer Bassekou Kouyate shares this new single and its accompanying video for "Desert Nianafing." Translating to "longing for the desert," the song arose from a sense of yearning for Kouyate. According to Outhere Records, the conflict in Northern Mali had reached a poignant apex where ethnic differences were seen as the cause, and Kouyate wanted to write a piece that both brought people together and honored the desert in general. Featuring vocalists/guitarists Ahmed Ag Kaedi, whose life was endangered during the crisis, and Afel Bocoum, a former collaborator of Ali Farka Toure, as well as Kouyate's wife Amy Sacko, the track is a slow-moving yarn of tumbling strings with Kouyate's ngoni mastery at its core. The visuals for the song compliment its warm, triumphant nature and show the artists playing in a town of smiling children amidst wide shots of the desert. Listen to "Desert Nianafing" and watch its video below. Find out more information about the upcoming Festival au Desert at their website.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.