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Africa Oyé: Everything you need to know if you’re heading along this weekend

1 year ago

Africa Oyé: Everything you need to know if you’re heading along this weekend

It’s a sign summer’s well and truly here when Liverpool gets set to celebrate one of its favourite family-friendly festivals – and Africa Oyé is here, it’s this weekend.

The city festival is the largest celebration of African music and culture anywhere in the UK, with artists coming from all over the world to be a part of this massive event.

Now in its 31st year, Africa Oyé is as popular as ever, thanks to its live music, DJ stages, and workshops, and almost 100 arts, crafts, fashion, food, and drink stalls in the amazing Oyé Village.

It’s one of the best events for people of every age, so if you’re planning to head to Africa Oyé 2023, here’s everything you need to know …

When is it – and what time?

The festival takes place this weekend, Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18, from 12.30pm until 9.30pm on both days.

Where will it be?

Africa Oyé is back again at Sefton Park which has been its home since 2002. 

Africa Oyé
Credit: Africa Oyé

Getting there by …

Train

It’s easy to get to by Merseyrail, just take the northern line towards Hunts Cross and get off at St Michaels station then cross over Aigburth Road, down Lark Lane and you’re there. It’s about a mile walk.

Bus

There are also lots of buses taking in Sefton Park including the 75, 80, 80A, 26/27, 60, 76, 82, 82A and 500 airport express service.

Bike

If you are cycling to Africa Oyé, go to  http://citybikeliverpool.co.uk/  for a map and directions.

What does it cost, and do I need to book?

What could be better? Africa Oyé is fab – and it’s FREE. There are no tickets and there’s no need to book, just turn up on the day and have a great time. The Africa Oyé team works all year to keep the festival free, supported by partners including Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England. BUT festivalgoers can do their bit by donating at the Donation Station by the main stage, becoming a Friend of Oyé via the website, throwing some change into the buckets carried by volunteers at the festival site, buying official merchandise or a buying a drink at one of the Oyé Inns.

Africa Oyé
Veeby from Cameroon will play this year’s Africa Oyé Festival

Who’ll be performing – and can I find out when they’ll be on?

Celebrated Jamaican dancehall and reggae artist Tanya Stephens will be headlining on the main stage on Saturday and, on Sunday, Seun Kuti– son of the legendary Afrobeat star, Fela Kuti – will headline with his band, Egypt 80.   In addition to all the established international artists, don’t miss the festival’s Oyé Introduces programme which showcases some of the brightest up-and-coming local talent including Liverpool R&B vocal harmony group, AMBA, and South Liverpool hip-hop trio, Black Borough.

The Oyé main stage line up for both days looks like this:

SATURDAY

12.30pm: Drumming troupe, Batala

1.10pm: AMBA

2pm: Liverpool Neo-Jazz Singer-Songwriter Ni Maxine

3.35pm: Afrobeats star ZieZie

5.05pm: Kimi Djabaté (who collaborated with Madonna on her Madame X album!)

6.35pm: Ghanaian highlife stars FRA!

8.15pm: Tanya Stephens

Africa Oyé
FRA! from Ghana will perform at the Africa Oyé Festival in Liverpool this June

SUNDAY

12.30pm: Staged Kaos

1.10pm: Black Borough

2pm: Cameroonian soloist Veeby

3.35pm: Soukustek, blending the rhythms and sounds of 70s Africa with a flavour of the Colombian Caribbean

5.05pm: Gospel artist Alogte Oho & His Sounds of Joy

6.35pm: Congolese and Cuban party band, Grupo Lokito

8.15pm: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Any other stages?

The two DJ stages Trenchtown and Freetown are back with top Afro-centric DJs from Liverpool and across the UK playing an all-day set of dub, reggae, ska, jazz, Afrobeat, house, funk, soul, hip-hop and jazz.

Credit: Africa Oyé

TRENCHTOWN – SATURDAY

12.30-2pm: Anti Social Jazz Club, championing jazz and its connected genres

2-3pm: Stuart Borthwick journeys through 60 years of Jamaican music

3-4pm: Soulfultiz – DJ and broadcaster at Melodic Distraction

4-5pm: DJ Adek with an urban music selection

5-6pm: Papu Raf brings Afrohouse, Afrobeats, disco, R’n’B, hip-hop, Amapiano, and more

6-7pm: Hannah Lynch B2B G33 (Girls Don’t Sync) with feel good, high-energy sounds

7-8pm: Truth & Lies with international sounds

8-9pm: Morgan (LDF, Hustle) with original Afrobeat, Nigerian funk grooves, Afro disco, organic Afro and house.

TRENCHTOWN – SUNDAY

12.30-1pm: Chris E, co-founder of Manchester’s Better Days parties drops in for a set of reggae and ska

1.30-2.30pm: Slipmat Records bring a special set of Jamaican sounds

2.30-3.30pm: Silent Selector – Alternative and ‘70s Afro funk, Afro disco and Afro beat rhythms

3.30pm-4.30pm: MC Sas – expect ground-shaking drums and bass

4.30-5.30pm: Simma – ‘big riddims, big dubplates, big vibes’

5.30-6.30pm: Keith Marley with dancehall, jungle and garage beats

6.30-7.30pm: Dub Defenders ft. Nicky Talent – reggae-infused bass music from dub to steppers

7.30-9pm: 100th Monkey – drum & bass and jungle from DJs Andee J, Silly G, Bad Manning and MCs Cox, Lady Soul and Senci

Credit: Mark McNulty

FREETOWN – SATURDAY

1-2pm: Melodic Distraction – selectors and residents from MDHQ

2-3pm: Ross Robertson with ‘music to dance to in the sunshine’

3-4pm: Robin Jackson B2B DJDS – expect eclectic sounds from Robin, one of the original Oyé DJs, along with reggae and dub selections

4-5pm: Lyrical Compact, Liverpool’s original hip-hop DJ collective

5-6pm: Butcha & Don Doopy with deep reggae and dub

6-7pm: Culture Deck takeover celebrating Liverpool and the North West’s music and culture

7-8pm: Jacques Malchance with rarities and oddities from around the world

8-9pm: Dharma Collective – a deep-digging mix of Afrobeat, Latin, kwaito, broken beat and house

FREETOWN – SUNDAY

1-2pm: Jess Gascoigne with beats from around the globe

2-3pm: No Fakin’ – hip-hop, funk, soul, reggae and more

3-5pm: Evesdrop Collective with 16 female DJs, selectors and performers from across the UK

5-6pm: Giovanna – hi-tempo Afrobeat, highlife and house

6-7pm: Subcora with genres of house

7-8pm: Rich Furness – Afro house, kwaito, Gqom, UK funky, and all-round African party vibes

8-9pm: Melodic Distraction

Is there anything for kids to do?

One of the most popular areas of festival is always the Oyé Active Zone which hosts free multi-arts workshops across the whole weekend. For 2023, there’ll be a new Toddler Zone specifically for the littlest festival goers. There’s also a funfair with lots of rides.

Along with a packed programme – below – look out for loads more workshops and activities in and around the Oyé Active Zone. The LFC Foundation is back for 2023 with their ‘Open Goals’ Project offering free sporting activities for children and families, and other workshops include ‘bath bomb’ making with LUSH, and arts meets science with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Football freestyler Mr. Silky Skills will also be showing his moves in the OAZ and around the festival site.

Africa Oyé
Credit: Mark McNulty of Valérie Ékoumè at Oyé 2022

OYÉ ACTIVE ZONE – SATURDAY

12.30-1pm: Capoeira For All – Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form combining dance, martial art, music and culture

1.30-2.15pm: Osun Arts – African Dance with live percussion

2.30-3pm: FRA! Main stage artist with a special dance and music workshop

3.30-4pm: Afro Cuban Cabaret with Penny Caffrey from Movema

4.30pm-5pm: Sole Rebel with a body percussion workshop

5.40-6pm: Angelina: Mulembas D’Africa – movement from Angolan culture, Até Breve

OYÉ ACTIVE ZONE – SUNDAY

12.30-1pm: Yoga for all the family

1.15-1.45pm: Phil Windever – get ready to learn some African beats and drum your heart out

2-2.30pm: Samba – Wendy Okoli shares some samba moves

3-3.30pm: Drumming: Beatlife – Afro-Brazilian & Cuban grooves with modern urban beats

4-4.30pm: Salsa with Movema – a fun salsa class with solo and partner work

5-5.30pm: Afro Dance with Liverpool’s Afrodance Academy

There’s a parade!

We love a parade, and the Katumba Drumming & Movement Parade takes place on Sunday at 1.45pm with a melting pot of UK big beat, Caribbean calypso and the carnivals of North East Brazil.

Everyone’s welcome to get involved and join the parade.

Credit: Africa Oyé

It’s for everyone

Africa Oyé is working hard to make sure it’s accessible for everyone. There’ll be an accessible viewing platform, British sign language on stage to accompany the festival acts, as well as a dedicated access tent with BSL workshops. On stage hi-definition video will help those with visual impairments, and there’ll be increased stewarding around the accessible toilets.

And when it’s over … it’s not over, it’s the after-parties

There are always a few to choose from but one of them is Disco Africa at the Handyman Pub, Smithdown Road on the Saturday night. It’s free entry and on from 6pm til 1am. 

Visit the Africa Oyé website here.

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