The silver anniversary of Africa Oyé got underway with some golden weather on Saturday. The festival is also a truly international event that harnesses the spirit of multiculturalism and tolerance. It has played host to artists from nations right across Africa and also programmes music from South America and The Caribbean with Salsa, Soca and Reggae always a popular addition to the festivities. With temperatures hitting highs of 24 degrees and expected to continue until Sunday, it was the perfect accompaniment to the Caribbean beats and amazing food on offer at the Sefton Park showground.
But Africa Oyé is about more than music… Over 40 stalls selling the best food, drink, arts and crafts and fashion from Africa and beyond will again be present at the Oyé village along with long time supporter ‘News From Nowhere’, one of the UK’s premier stockists of African music, with all the performing artists and much more on sale, it’s a great opportunity to not only take in some of the best roots music around, but take some home with you too.
Artistic director Paul Duhaney says: “We’re hoping for it to be our most special year. It’s quite amazing to think the festival has been going 25 years. In the first 10 to 15 years, it went under the radar a bit. It was a bit of a niche festival attended by hundreds rather than thousands. But in the last 10 years it’s become a staple of the Liverpool festival calendar.”
Oyé is often asked, “Why do you do this?” Fortunately the answer is simple. It is good to make people happy, even for a moment, or a day, or at best a lifetime. As ever, we welcome you.