Africa Oyé, the UK’s largest free celebration of African music and culture, takes place annually in Liverpool. Beginning in 1992 as a series of small gigs in the city centre, the event has gone from strength to strength, moving to its present Sefton Park home in 2002 to cope with demand.
With too many negative representations of Africa entrenched in images of war, disease, poverty and famine, Oyé seeks to redress the balance and highlight the fantastic range of cultures, foods, music and artists that make this great continent one of the most vibrant and inspiring in the world.
“This isn’t just the largest festival of African and Caribbean music in Britain, it’s the best”
– The Sunday Times
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.
But Africa Oyé is about more than music… Over 90 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.
In addition to the festival, Africa Oyé also programmes and promotes shows across the UK, and have worked with the likes of Julian Marley, Songhoy Blues and Blick Bassy on recent national tours.
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.
Africa Oyé is free so that it can be enjoyed by everyone and remains inclusive. You can find out more about how you can help keep the festival free for years to come, here.
Africa Oyé is proud to be included in Arts Council England’s national portfolio of funded organisations for 2023-26. The UK’s biggest celebration of the music and culture of Africa and the Diaspora has been chosen to be a part of the £43.5 million national investment in Levelling up, as Arts Council England (ACE) backs art, culture, and creativity for more people in more places, across the country.
More than £2.7m has been made available by Liverpool City Council to 27 organisations across the city as part of its Culture and Arts Investment Programme (CAIP). The funding, which will come through the city’s core Culture Liverpool budget, will allow the sector to remain supported and play a role in Liverpool’s post-Brexit and pandemic recovery. We are delighted to be included in this latest funding round (2022) and extend our huge thanks to Liverpool City Council.