African Music Festivals To Look Out for

Attending music festivals in Africa will introduce the unique sounds, beats and vibes of the huge continent and help you better understand the culture. Many of these incredible festivals combine the best big-name international artists with local acts, introducing a new crowd to fusion Afrobeats and African musicians mixing hip-hop, pop, rock and other genres with their culture and heritage.

With 54 countries and countless different cultures, the African continent is home to some pretty spectacular annual events and festivals.. Others showcase Africa’s incredible creative talent, through the mediums of music.

Mawazine, Morocco

Huge international music acts like Sting, J.Lo, Maroon 5, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Rod Stewart have taken the stage alongside African greats such as Amadou & Mariam, P Square and Tinariwen at one of the biggest music festivals in Africa. More than just music, this is a celebration of Moroccan culture and arts and was started by the personal secretary to King Mohammad IV. These days it attracts a crowd of around 2.65 million (yes, million!) each year. Mawazine continues to be a huge tribute to African music.

Where: Rabat, Morocco
When: May

Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa

George Benson live at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival
André-Pierre du Plessis/ Flickr.com/ CC BY 2.0

Southern Africa’s biggest jazz festival is held annually in Cape Town. Jazz legends from all over the world perform for two days at the city’s International Convention Centre, either on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April. Now in its 21st year, the festival routinely attracts crowds of more than 37,000 people and tickets must be booked well in advance. Past performers range from global acts like Miles Mosley, Corinne Bailey Rae, and the Gipsy Kings; to South African favorites like the Ndlovu Youth Choir.

Where: Cape Town, South Africa
When: March or April

Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, Morocco

10 Amazing Annual Festivals and Events in Morocco
nathalie_r/ Flickr.com/ CC BY 2.0 

This spiritual festival has been held every year for more than quarter of a century in Fez, Morocco, and hosts musicians and dancers from all over the world. Over the course of the nine-day extravaganza, you might see Iranian whirling dervishes or Sufi chanters, dancers from America or groups singing sacred Gaelic hymns. Performances take place outside, in the city’s Jnan Sbil Gardens or in the historic plaza in front of the Royal Palace. In addition to the scheduled performances, expect an abundance of delicious Moroccan street food.

Where: Fez, Morocco
When: June

Gnaoua World Music Festival, Morocco

Artists at the Gnaoua and World Music Festival, Essaouira
Magharebia/Flickr.com/CC BY 2.0 

Held every year in the coastal town of Essaouira, this festival was founded more than 20 years ago to celebrate traditional Gnaoua music, which borrows inspiration from the religious songs and acrobatic dance rhythms of Berber, African, and Arabic culture. Since then, it has grown to include musicians from all over the world. The festival lasts for four days, with performances taking place at venues dotted all over the town. In between shows, take the time to discover Essaouira’s beautiful beaches and renowned seafood restaurants.

Where: Essaouira, Morocco
When: June

Vic Falls Carnival, Zimbabwe

Dance on into a new year at this festival of Southern African music. Over three days an eclectic program of artists from Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia bring their beats to the falls, alongside entertainment like fire breathers and traditional dancers. Spend your days bungee jumping or white water rafting and your nights dancing to unique sounds. Don’t miss the steam train and secret bush party on the first day!

Where: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
When: 29-31 December

Sauti Za Busara, Tanzania

Sauti za Busara is a music festival in Zanzibar, Africa

 

Every year more than 400 African musicians gather in Zanzibar for this four-day carnival-style music festival, celebrating African music and culture over three enormous stages. Beyond the beats expect to see dancers, fire eaters and a food market with Zanzibar’s favourite foods. The 2021 line-up is already released with artists from Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Reunion island, Morocco and Algeria joining the bill.

Where: Zanzibar, Tanzania
When: February

Rocking the Daisies, South Africa

 

South Africa’s music culture is on show at one of the biggest music festivals in Africa, Rocking the Daisies. Held at the Cloff Wine Estate in Cape Town and in Johannesburg in Ellis Park, these two unforgettable weekends includes a lineup of local South African musicians and international acts. In 2021 that means Stormzy, Ari Lennox, Col3trane, Saint Jhn, Elaine, Lordkez and Scorpion Kings.

 

Where: Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
When: October

 

Lake of Stars, Malawi

Set by the golden sands and blue waters of ocean-like Lake Malawi, this magical location is the backdrop for an awe-inspiring Afro-pop music and arts festival. Dance all day and night to a mix of international acts, African musicians and party DJs – you’ll want to stay up late enough to watch the magical sunrise over the water. If you are open minded about the unfamiliar acts, you’ll be rewarded with eye-opening new African music, poetry, workshops and short films.

Where: Mangochi, Malawi
When: September

Afropunk, South Africa

Afro: as in, born of African spirit and heritage; see also Black, see also rhythm and color, see also other, see also underdog.

Punk: as in, rebel, opposing the simple route, imbued with a DIY ethic, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and open curiosity; see also other, see also underdog.”

When you see the line-up for Afropunk, you certainly won’t be thinking underdog. In 2019 Solange headlined alongside Masego, Miguel, GoldLink, Busiswa, Nao, the Destruction Boys and so many more. This epic Johannesburg African music festival is where the biggest names in African music, creativity and conversation collide over a few days in late December.

 

Where: Johannesburg, South Africa
When: Late December

Will you be buying tickets to music festivals in Africa? If yes, let us know which African music festival in the comments…

 

(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)

You Might Be Interested In

Comment (29)

  1. Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  2. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and foundthat it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of peoplewill be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  3. You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. “A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some.” by Joe Moore.

  4. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful
    to you.

  5. Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if
    it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
    sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83
    views. I know this is totally off topic but I had
    to share it with someone!

  6. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wantingto know your situation; many of us have developed some nice procedures and we are looking totrade methods with others, why not shoot me an email if interested.

  7. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I
    have discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads.

    I am hoping to give a contribution & assist different customers like its helped me.
    Great job.

  8. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I believed this
    put up was great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly
    you are going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already.
    Cheers!

  9. Greate post. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog.Im really impressed by your site.Hello there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it andin my view suggest to my friends. I’m confident they willbe benefited from this site.

  10. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What a great web-site.

  11. My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site.
    He used to be totally right. This publish actually made my day.
    You can not imagine simply how so much time I had
    spent for this info! Thank you!

  12. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My website hasa lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up allover the internet without my authorization. Doyou know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off?I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  13. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.I think that you could do with some picsto drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog.An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  14. Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. This is a verysmartly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read moreof your useful information. Thanks for the post.I’ll certainly return.

  15. I have recently started a site, the information you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. “It is a great thing to know our vices.” by Cicero.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: