An early bout of rain did nothing to scare off festival-goers as Africa Oyé celebrated another successful festival of music and culture this past weekend in Liverpool’s Sefton Park.
Live music acts from eleven different countries took to the main stage with headliners Rocky Dawuni and Inner Circle closing out the Saturday and Sunday respectively in spectacular fashion.
Highlights included a hugely crowd-pleasing set from Cape Verdean singer Lura whose infections energy brought the park to life on Sunday afternoon, as well as brilliant performances from the likes of kora player Sona Jobarteh and Beninese legends Orchestre Poly-Rythmo.
Local artists were also celebrated in the Oyé Introduces portion of the festival, with Liverpool acts Remée and MC Nelson both proving that they deserved to share the stage with their international contemporaries.
Community performances from youth theatre group Staged Kaos also charmed audiences with their tribute to stage show Hamilton, whilst Movema and Juba Do Leao gave audiences a taste of the free workshops and performances that took place all weekend in the Oye Active Zone.
The Oyé Village surrounding the main stage was bigger than ever before with a whole host of traders providing festival-goers with cuisine from around the world as well as authentic African and Caribbean clothing and a huge variety of arts and crafts.
The latest addition to the festival was the Wellbeing Zone, which provided the audience with massage, henna and reiki along with more free workshops throughout the weekend. The ever-popular DJ stages – Trenchtown, Freetown and the Afrobeats Zone – also made welcome returns to the festival.
Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney said “We’d heard so many conflicting weather reports in the build up to the weekend, that we were just so relieved when the rain passed so quickly on the Saturday.
Liverpool came out in force and showed everyone visiting the city from around the world why Oyé is such a special event in the cultural calendar. Ten years on from capital of culture and our arts scene keeps going from strength to strength; we’re very proud to be an important part of it.”