Africa Oyé returning to Liverpool

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Culture at Oye festival

Culture at last year’s Africa Oye festival. Pic © Africa Oye/Twitter

Africa Oyé is to return to Liverpool this June and will be headlined by Scottish reggae artist Finley Quaye.

The festival, which is the UK’s largest celebration of African music and culture, is back for its 22nd year in Sefton Park.

Originally starting as a small multi-venue event in the city centre in 1992, the festival moved to its present home at Sefton to cope with demand and now attracts over 50,000 people to the city each year.

The free-to-attend festival aims to paint a more positive picture of African culture and has showcased a wide range of African and Caribbean artists over the years, including legendary Senegalese singer-songwriter Habib Koite as well as Nigerian-British Dele Sosimi and his Afrobeat Orchestra, in addition to music from Latin America along with salsa, soca and reggae.

Headlining this year’s event will be Scottish reggae star Finley Quaye, who had a string of hits in the mid-90s with ‘Sunday Shining’ and ‘Even After All’. He won a Mobo in 1997 for Best Reggae Act and a BRIT Award the following year for Best Male Solo Artist.

Quaye, who said it was an “honour” and a “privilege” to play this year’s Liverpool festival, will share the stage with Glastonbury veterans Jupiter & Okwess International, Wara and afro-trance act HAJAmadagascar & The Groovy People.

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Director North for Arts Council England, told JMU Journalism: “We support Africa Oyé as one of our National portfolio organisations as it is an exciting and diverse festival showcasing the best of African music and culture.

“The festival reaches not only people from Merseyside and the North West but the visitors who come from around the world to enjoy the national and international artists who take part.”

The festival runs from Saturday June 21st to Sunday June 22nd. It will also feature workshops, the Oyé Active Zone and a DJ tent.

Food will be provided by several world cuisine stalls as well as the Oyé Traders Market which will have ethically sourced Fair Trade crafts, clothes, CDs, books and world instruments for sale.

About Ryan McElroy, JMU Journalism