The first three acts heading to Liverpool’s Sefton Park for this summer’s Africa Oyé Festival have been revealed.
Artists from Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Cameroon make up the first wave of performers to be announced by organisers with plenty more still to come.
Following an incredible 30th anniversary year in 2022, one of Merseyside’s most picturesque green spaces will once again be filled with the music and culture of Africa, the Caribbean and the Diaspora, for two free days of live music, workshops, DJ stages, food stalls and a range of traders in the Oyé Village.
Kicking off the first wave of acts are Ghanian highlife stars, FRA!
FRA!’s energetic performance and infectious grooves are sure to get Liverpool audiences dancing this June with their hypnotising and catchy choruses and incredible showmanship.
This ensemble from Accra take their name from the Akan word for “mix” and is a reference to the elements of the fusion which is found in their music. The band is set to be have a break-out year in 2023 with performances at festivals and venues across the world.
Joining them on the line-up will be Cameroonian soloist, Veeby.
A highly respected voice in the burgeoning afrosoul community, Veeby says that it is through her musicality that she transmits her pride and tells the story of her African roots. Her aim is to “connect the points” of music and history for her fellow Afro-descendants.
With hip-hop and RnB influences, Veeby’s soft yet powerful voice is set to soar through Sefton Park this summer.
Rounding off this first announcement is gifted guitarist, percussionist and balafón player, Kimi Djabaté.
On Djabaté’s new album Dindin, the multitalented musician from Guinea-Bissau carries on the customs of his griot heritage, singing entrancingly about the complexity of life in modern Africa for a broad, international audience.
Blending traditional Afro-Portuguese rhythms with Afrobeat grooves, electric desert blues and hints of Afro-Latin swing, Djabaté weaves a unique tapestry of smooth and intricate sounds, featuring intimate songs dedicated to family and friends, and undeniably universal in its themes of love, communication and human connection.
Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney, said following the reveal:
“As we enter our fourth decade of celebrating the music and culture of Africa and the Diaspora, we’re delighted to announce this first wave of artists for the 2023 festival.
As part of our 30th anniversary last year we were lucky enough to be invited to music conferences across the world. Our first announcement for Oye ’23 features three of the artists we discovered during showcases at industry events such as WOMEX and Mundial Montreal, where we were able to promote Oyé and Liverpool as a destination for international creatives. We can’t wait for our Oyé crowds to experience their live sets and be blown away just as we were.”
Beginning over three decades ago in 1992 as a series of shows in the city centre, the Africa Oyé Festival has evolved into one of Liverpool’s most beloved annual events, attracting artists and attendees from across the world.
One of the most popular areas of festival, The Oyé Active Zone – which hosts free multi-arts workshops across the whole weekend – will return this summer, alongside a brand new Toddler Zone, catering for the youngest festival goers, and the acclaimed DJ stages Trenchtown and Freetown.
More main stage artists are set to be revealed soon, along with news on the festival’s Oyé Introduces programme which sees up-and-coming local talent showcased on the line-up alongside the international heavyweights.
The festival’s commitment to being ‘free and open to all’ also means that the Access Tent, British Sign Language on-stage translators and Access Viewing Platform will also all return for this year’s extravaganza.
Those wanting to support the festival and help keep the event free and open to all and can do so by donating via africaoye.com.
This year’s Africa Oyé festival will take place on June 17th and 18th 2023, in Liverpool’s Sefton Park from 12:30pm til 9:30pm both days and entrance is FREE.