THE AFRICAN SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL has been growing by the day since its commencement in the year 2008. Come the 14th of September 2013, the vibrancy of an eclectic illumination of the stunning African colours is going to be once again ignited to the passion and pride of its numerous attendees, whether invited or uninvited.
In accordance with Miss Mariah Lovell who is one of the leading members of the team behind Africfest, the music festival seeks to forge unity among the fundamental fabrics of the African continent through music, dance and poetry recitation.
Furthermore she stressed that ‘this is the only music platform that gives credence to traditional African songs of all calibre’.
Therefore, the element of the African Music Festival is to showcase the relevance of the indigenous and traditional beats with melodies of Africa, to the modern world.
However the celebration of the African Music Festival, will take its audience through legendary songs of iconic musicians who have extensively touched souls, enlivened various hearts, given hope with their individual voices while gracing reputable programs and occasions such as social, corporate and diplomatic throughout the world.
More so, for a proper listening, relaxing and dancing pleasure, all those attending would be attuned to the Hi-Life music of Ghana, from the likes of the Osibisas, Juju music from Nigeria, Batonga from Angelique Kidjo of the republic of Benin and something soothing from Salif Kaita of Mali. The songs of Senegal’s Youssou N’dour and Baaba Maal would be the musicology of the day.
Also, Francophone music: from Soukous to N’dombolo, Coupe Decale to Bobaraba, would not be left out of the jubilation by blasting out unique and joyful rhymes, rhythms and beats from the republic of Congo, La Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, the republic of Togo, Algeria, Morocco and the rest of the motherland.
In addition to the aforementioned sensations, Kwaito: the music of South Africa will be at the Disc Jockey’s disposal. So I know you would be looking out for songs from music veterans in the decibels of Mariam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Brenda Fasie and all, which would categorically not be a bother.
Although the African Music Festival seems to be adults related, considerable approach has been pipelined, in order not to marginalise the children of the day. So Children would be provided with recreational facilities such like Bouncy Castle, Face Painting, ‘Tug of Peace’ and other performances on the youth stage.
Highlights of the festival on the main stage will be as followed on the flyer: AFRICAN MUSIC BY LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL BANDS. ARTISTES AND DJS (TO BE CONFIRMED). GOSPEL CHOIR, COMEDY, TALENT SHOW CASE, YOUTH PERFORMANCES, CULTURAL AND ACROBATIC SHOW.
On the other hand, the audience and revellers will have the ultimate chance to sample AFRICAN ARTIFACTS, FOOD & DRINKS FROM THE AFRICAN BAZAAR, FACE AND HENNA PAINTING, INCLUDING CALABASH PAINTING AND SOME BEADS THREADING.
So chronologically, one can musically ascertain that, from the indigenous melodies of Africa to the modern Afro-European beats of Azonto, the African Music Festival has come to project the sights and sounds of Africa.
From my imagination of the festival, I could not hesitate but to delve straight into a bit of interview with Miss Mariah Lovell. As I mentioned earlier, she is a leading member of the organising group of the African Summer Music Festival.
CP: To begin with, why are the names of the various artistes not mentioned or confirmed as yet. Given the credibility of such a festival?
ML: Yes we know, previously it used to be the norm, but this time round we are keeping our cards closer to our chest and as such: it’s going to be the greatest surprise of all time.
CP: Is the festival only based in Luton?
ML: Yes, it is momentarily based in Luton because: this is where the festival was birthed. But our mission is to grow it bigger so we could move it around the United Kingdom.
CP: Who are the brains behind this festival?
ML: The Africa Music Festival is organised by the African Festival Group which is made up of 50 members in addition to its trustees.
CP: A grand festival like this cannot function appropriately without a sound financial backing, so tell us who supports this festival as patrons?
ML: Rightly said Mr Clarke, our beloved patrons are as follows:
Centre of Hope Charity
Ghana Society UK
UK Centre for Carnival Arts
Luton Borough Council
Zimbabwe Group and
African Advice Centre.
CP: Is your celebration a yearly fiesta?
ML: Yes it is an annual summer event.
CP: Are there any challenges your outfit encounters, in terms of arranging, programing and promoting the festival?
ML: We have challenges as with everything especially, the support and recognition we need as an African celebration, but we still believe in time things will change for this event to receive the recognition it deserves.
CP: Will all the African countries be represented musically?
ML: We aim for every African country to be represented in the festival, so we can encourage and invite them to participate or to be involved in whichever capacity to support the event.
CP: What is the significance of this festival?
ML: The significance of this festival is enshrined in our vision to promote African music and show case our culture. An experience for all to share, an opportunity for non-Africans to know our music and culture, which would be an out of Africa experience.
CP: Miss Lovell finally to wrap up our conversation, can you please tell us the exact location of the festival?
ML: To be precise, the address is SAINT GEORGE SQUARE, LUTON TOWN CENTRE, LU1 2NG.
CP: I wish you the best of luck on the day of the festival.
ML: Thank you Mr Clarke.
CP: You are welcome.
BY CLARKE PENTOA: A BROADCAST JOURNALIST WITH A PRINT MEDIA INITIATIVE.
FROM NOW TILL YOU SEE ME, I AM HANGGING MY PEN.