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Africa Oyé announces headliners for summer 2024

This summer, the Africa Oyé Festival will feature a female supergroup and the son of the renowned musician Bob Marley as its headlining acts.

Les Amazones d’Afrique, the potent and innovative musical group, will bring the proceedings to a close on Saturday, 22nd June. On Sunday, Julian Marley and his band, The Uprising, will headline the show, following his recent Grammy win for Best Reggae Album earlier this month.

Liverpool’s Sefton Park will host the largest celebration of African and Caribbean music and culture in the country, in 2024. The festival had record-breaking attendance last year and will return for two days of live music, dance, DJ stages, workshops, food stalls, traders, and more. The event is free and will take place in one of the most beautiful green spaces in the city.

Africa Oyé announces headliners for summer 2024
Africa Oyé announces headliners for summer 2024
Julian Marley (Photo: F. Blanquin)

Julian Marley was born in London in 1975. His parents were Bob Marley, the reggae legend, and Lucy Pounder, who came from Barbados. As a young person, he grew up surrounded by music. He was quick to adopt a musical lifestyle, and became a self-taught musician at an early age, mastering the bass, drums, guitar, and keyboards. His talents as a musician, singer-songwriter, producer, and humanitarian have earned him a Grammy Award.

In 2005, Julian embarked on a series of ‘Africa Unite’ performances in Ethiopia, Ghana in 2006, and Jamaica in 2008, in collaboration with the Marley family. Julian Marley and The Uprising were invited by the Jamaican government to perform in Beijing, China, during the 2008 Olympic Games, where they celebrated along with Jamaica’s Gold medal-winning runner, Usain Bolt.

Julian Marley holds a prominent position in the music industry’s consciousness movement, surpassing the recognition of most contemporary reggae artists. As his father did, Julian is a devoted follower of the Rastafarian faith and his music is inspired by spirituality and life.

Africa Oyé announces headliners for summer 2024
Les Amazones d’Afrique

The festival had originally planned for Les Amazones d’Afrique to perform in 2020, but due to the pandemic, events across the country were cancelled. This group of creatives embraces the voices of women and girls, summoning sweet and strong harmonies from a fusion of heritage and new talent across the globe. The collective was established in Bamako, Mali, by renowned Malian music stars and social change activists including Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré (who was the headliner at Africa Oyé in 2022), and Mariam Doumbia. The group has since expanded to include many artists from across Africa and the diaspora, such as Angélique Kidjo, Nneka, and the rising Malian star Rokia Koné.

Although the goal they pursue, which is to advocate for gender equality and eliminate ancestral violence, is commendable in its own right, their musical creativity is equally impactful. The music they create is a blend of various pan-African styles and collaborative harmonies, with a contemporary pop twist, that is both melodious and diverse.

The Guardian’s Top 50 albums of 2017, NPR Music’s best albums of 2020, and Barrack Obama’s playlist have all previously featured the band. They have also graced Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid stage and appeared on flagship BBC music show Later… with Jools Holland.

Since 1992, the Africa Oyé Festival has been organized as a set of shows in the city center. Throughout the years, it has grown into one of Liverpool’s most cherished yearly gatherings, drawing in artists and visitors from all corners of the globe.

The world dance charity Movema will once again host the Oyé Active Zone on site, where visitors can enjoy a range of multi-arts workshops suitable for all ages and abilities throughout the weekend. Later in the spring, the local selectors and MCs line-up for the increasingly-popular DJ stages Trenchtown and Freetown will be announced.

Soon, more artists for the main stage will be announced. Additionally, young local artists who applied to perform at the festival will soon find out if they made it onto this year’s Oyé Introduces programme. This programme will showcase up-and-coming North West talent alongside the international heavyweights. Oyé’s commitment to being ‘free and open to all’ means that the popular Access Tent, on-stage British Sign Language translators, and the Accessible Viewing Platform will also make a return for this year’s festival.

Les Amazones d’Afrique

Paul Duhaney, Artistic Director of Africa Oyé said: 

“We have always prided ourselves on booking headliners that wouldn’t be out of place on the best ticketed festivals in the country and this year is no different.

Les Amazones d’Afrique are the definition of a supergroup – so much talent coming together to create something really special, and it’s great to see their new album getting mainstream attention on the likes of 6Music.

And with Julian Marley you’ve got a reggae superstar that has truly emerged from his father’s shadow – you don’t win Grammys without being an incredible talent in your own right and it’ll be a Sunday night for the history books when he closes the festival this year”.

The festival of Africa Oyé will occur on June 22nd and 23rd 2024 at Sefton Park in Liverpool. The event will start at 12:30 pm and continue until 9:30 pm on both days, and admission is free of charge.


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