Every year there are thousands of festivals that take place in different parts of the continent. Some of these have become definitive – gaining global recognition and appeal while others are slowly making their mark. The range of festivals is eclectic – from literary to film festivals. From food and drink festivals to comedy, poetry, theatre, and storytelling festivals.
There are festivals covering all genres of music from Jazz to rock, classical to reggae; and of course there are the multi-disciplinary arts and cultural festivals. Our mission is to showcase them. We invite you to journey with us.
The journey begins.
To streamline the process, we have chosen to start with a focus on music and multi-disciplinary festivals. So, to get started we have provided a ‘list’ and brief introduction to a few of the more innovative and popular fests as they take place month-by-month and in their different locations.
As each festival draws near – we will be able to zoom into the event itself capturing elements of the social, cultural, touristic and investment potential each country has to offer. As an imperative, with 2019 having been declared International Year of Indigenous Languages by the UN/UNESCO we hope, through this, we can get closer insight into the people and broader languages of each country.
Disclaimer/A small caution
This list by no means represents the “biggest” festivals or the most attended, and unfortunately we know, that it is hardly representative of the continent (only 15 of 54 countries come up) but we know as we journey along – and as we look at other festival types – it will become more inclusive.
We also welcome your input…if there is a festival in your hometown that you think is worth boasting – images to share – we look forward to hear about it.
Selection/List of Festivals
|Month Dates 2019||Festival Name||Location||Type Of Festival|
(on hold since 2015 but planning a come back)
|Le Festival au Désert||Timbuktu, Mali||Music, poetry, song, dance
|February 1-3||Origin Music Festival||Helderstroom, South Africa||Alternative
|February 2-9||Festival Sur Le Niger||Ségou, Mali||African and Malian Music, performance
|February 7-10||Up the Creek Outdoor Music Festival||Swellendam, Barrydale, Breede River, South Africa||Indie, Rock, folk|
|February 14-17||Sauti za Busara Festival – (Sounds of Wisdom)||Stone Town,
|February 15-17||Amani Festival
Festival for Peace in the Great Lakes Region
|Goma, DRC||Song, dance, traditional
|March 1 -2||Ultra South Africa Festival||Cape Town & Johannesburg
|EDM (electronic dance music), electronic, House|
|March 6- 10||Asa Baako Festival||Takoradi,
|International music and artists, beach party
|March 29-30||Cape Town International Jazz||Cape Town,
|April 6-15||Jazz à Carthage||Gammarth, Tunisia||Jazz|
|April||Kriol Jazz Festival||Praia, Santiago Cape Verde||Jazz
|April 18-22||Splashy Fen Music Festival||Underberg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa|
|April 26-May 1||Saint Louis Jazz Festival||Saint Louis, Senegal||Jazz
|April 30-May 5||HIFA – Harare International Festival of the Arts||Harare, Zimbabwe||Multidisciplinary|
|May 24- June 2||Zakifo Music Festival||Durban, South Africa||Multidisciplinary
|May 16-18||AZGO Festival (Vamos! Let’s Go!)||Maputo, Mozambique||Festsival Circuit
|May 23-25||Bassline Fest (Africa Day)||Johannesburg, South Africa||Africa day celebrations
|May 24-26||MTN Bushfire Festival||Malkerns, eSwatini||Pan African music, culture|
|June 7-9||Sakifo Music Festival
This has spurned ZAFIKO Musik Festival held in Durban since 2015.
|Local & international
|June 13-15||Sandbox Music Festival-A festival on the Red Sea.||El Gouna, Hurghada, Egypt||Electronic
|June 14-22||Fes – Festival of World Sacred Music||Fez, Morocco||Sacred music|
|June 20-23||Gnaouna Festival||Essaouira, Morocco||Traditional, Cultural|
|June 21-29||Mawazine Festival (Rhythms of the world)||Rabat, Morocco||Global Music Festival with traditional North African|
|June 27 -July 7||National Arts Festival, (Grahamstown Arts Festival)||Makhanda, South Africa||Multidisciplinary|
|July 3-6||Timitar Festival||Agadir, Morocco||Traditional|
|July 25 – August 2||PANAFEST||Elim, Cape Coast, Ghana||Music, Dance Theatre
|August 1 -4||Bayimba International Festival of the Arts||Lunkhulu Island, Uganda||International|
|September 6-9||MTN Nyege Nyege Festival||Jinja, Uganda||Musical celebration
|Sept 13-15||Oasis Festival||Marrakech, Morocco||Music and culture|
|September 28-30||Lake of Stars Festival
|October||Felabration Annual Music Festival||Ikeja, Nigeria||Music, arts Festival
|October||Madajazzcar Festival||Antananarivo, Madagacar||Jazz
|December||Sabolai Radio & Music Festival||Accra, Ghana|
|December 29-30||Victoria Falls Carnival||Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe|
|December 30-31||AfroPunk Fest Johannesburg||Johannesburg, South Africa||Alternative