It Was A Weekend Never To Forget At The Africa Oye Festival In Liverpool, UK


The weather was great on Saturday the 20th of June, the first day of the 2-day Africa Oye Festival 2015 at Sefton Park in Liverpool. Dubbed the UK’s biggest live festival of African music and culture, the Africa Oye festival of 2015 really lived up to the brand’s reputation, at least as far as Saturday is concerned. Attracting some not very notable but outstanding performers such as Angola’s Derito, Kenya’s Sarabi, the UK’s Omar Lye-Fook and Cumbia All Stars from Peru, among others.

Diasporaw.net this year managed to catch 3 of the acts of day 1 of the annual Africa Oye festival and we can tell you that, we were not disappointed at all. First it was Derito with his wonderful charming sound and cool performance with his uniquely styled guitar. His music brought the crowd into a nice festival mood on the not-cold and not too warm, yet, sunny day. His set was indeed well received, although fans did not understand most of his lyrics. There were loud calls for an encore when him and his band got to the end of their set.

Cool Entertainer: Derito

Cool Entertainer: Derito

Gordon Masiala and NKA Musica stepped the rhythm up a notch with their vibrant soukous, rhumba and salsa infused sound. They  got the crowd hyped up and dancing excitedly. In fact, their performance proved exactly why Gordon was a repeat perfomer, after having previously wowed during an appearance in 2009 at the festival. His comrades on stage added value to his set with their vocals and dance moves. As if that was not enough, Masiala and crew called upon some members of the audience to join them on stage and demonstrate their own interpretation of the Congolese crew’s dance moves. The results were very interesting, from a white guy trying his best but not being very impressive, to some cool waistline gyration by a young black girl. NKA Music’s set was completed on a high.

The young and vibrant Kenyan outfit Sarabi, brought a lot of energy to the stage, with a male and a female lead vocalist sort of having a sing-off over their fiery beats. All dressed in white, the group brought a militant type attitude with their set. They engaged with the Liverpool crowd pretty well, while emphasising that the crowd should enjoy themselves to the fullest, as the group had traveled a very long journey from Africa just to entertain them. They definitely proved that they are a force to be reckoned with, for the future.

Rocking The Stage: Sarabi

Rocking The Stage: Sarabi

BBC 1Xtra radio resident afrobeats dj and expert, DJ Edu was the main man at the decks in-between the change overs by the live performers at the main stage and he was indeed on point with his music.

Although the live performers were amazing, the festival was also made of high quality by the presence of stalls providing various services, mostly hot food, from grilled and cooked West-African dishes, to Southern-African, Caribbean and even German and Chinese food stuffs, showing how diverse Africa is. Queues were seen all over the place, around food stalls and at the bar stall. Other festival-goers brought their own barbecue stands and made their own food, and some even brought their own beverages. Tents were everywhere, pegged by those who wanted shelter from the sun or to take-cover from any surprise rainfall.


There were also some stalls displaying and selling clothing, sculpture, curios and other African themed items. There was definitely no excuse not to get a souvenir or a present for an absent friend or loved one.

For the kids and the adventurous fun-loving adults, there was a mini-amusement park with everything, from a rotating car ride to a ghost train. It looked like that area was kitted up a bit more than previous years and was indeed busy.

Joy Ride

Africa Oye 2015 Joy Ride

A dance clinic was made available courtesy of Movema Dance Group, at their stall. Just like previous years, the instructor there, took willing festival-goers through some energetic and rather therapeutic dance routines.

On The Move Again: Movema Dance Group

On The Move Again: Movema Dance Group

DJ and music (CDs) sales stalls were also available, with the youthful ‘Afrobeats Liverpool’ stall offering some mordern Afrobeats from their loud speakers and pulling a crowd of their own around their camp.

Party Corner: Afrobeats Liverpool

Party Corner: Afrobeats Liverpool

Saturday’s experience made the Africa Oye music festival weekend, a weekend to remember for us. The festival has however continued into Sunday 21 June with more fun on the cards and performances by Senegal’s Diabel Cissokho, Lindigo from the Reunion Island, headliner Frankie Paul from Jamaica and more.

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