Africa Oyé is back in Sefton Park for an amazing 27th year, Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody has all the info you need to enjoy the weekend.
Africa Oyé returns to Sefton Park this weekend – June 22 and 23 from 12.30 to 9.30 each day.
Not only is it one the best things Liverpool does, the multi award winning festival is completely free.
There is no better reason to take a wander down to the park at some point over the weekend, save that this year’s line up looks like an absolute belter.
Saturday headliner Horace Andy is a Jamaican reggae superstar, having shown no sign of relinquishing his 50 year career in roots, reggae, dancehall, dub and rocksteady beats.
In the UK he may be best known for his work with Massive Attack, notably on the Mezzanine album. Make no mistake this is a big name and a quality act to come to Liverpool.
Sunday will see Belize’s Garifuna Collective headline the weekend.
They have have been pushing the boundaries of the dynamic centuries-old traditional music of their ancestors, breaking new ground with their performances that show why UNESCO has proclaimed the language, dance and music of The Garifuna People as a ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.’
Other acts to look out for include BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness) from Soweto.
They played Liverpool last year as part of the Mandela8 campaign. Their funk and high energy performances have been turning heads far away from their native South Africa. They see their music as a weapon of political and spiritual liberation. The Africa portrayed by BCUC is not poor, but rich in tradition, rituals and beliefs.
We would also pick out Moonlight Benjamin as an interesting act to catch.
New to Oyé this year (as are many of the acts on the bill, unlike 2017 when most of the bill had played Oyé before) she is a self-proclaimed Voodoo Priestess. A blues style and a powerful voice, coupled with the voodoo tunes, she sounds like one not to miss.
But enough of what we think. Half of the fun of Oyé is the discovery of something new, something you’ve never heard before, nor even heard of. That’s one of the things that make it such a great festival. You’re bound to find something amazing, something to get you talking about.
Africa Oyé is striving to make the festival more accessible for fans with disabilities..
There will be an Accessible Viewing Platform, British Sign Language on stage to accompany the festival acts, as well as a dedicated Access Tent. The on-stage high-definition video wall assists those with visual impairments.
Just because it’s free at the point of delivery doesn’t mean you can’t help with the running costs.
Sales of t-shirts, tote bags and anything else with an Oyé logo on it will all go to contribute to the Oyé cause as do profits from the bars on site. So you can have a beer or two and feel all warm and fuzzy about it.
Away from the main stage, there are two DJ stages – Trenchtown and Freetown – playing all manner of Afrobeat, dub, reggae, ska, jazz, blues and much more. Trenchtown may have the edge, being right next to the main bar. You choose.
And of course there is a wide range of food and merch stalls. Get yourself a new hat or a CD of one of your new band discoveries.
Bring the kids, too. There’s all manner of things to keep them occupied.
Face painting, drumming workshops, dance, art and craft workshops. Also, new for this year is Incredible Oceans, telling critical ocean-saving stories, using arts and science. And, take action on plastic with Oyé’s Agile PlasticTactics – shred your drinks cup into flakes, melt them in the molding machine, and pull the lever of the future.
The site is easily accessible.
It’s about 10 minutes walk from St Micheal’s station on the Merseyrail Northern Line. Or get the bus. Routes 75, 80 and 80A run from Liverpool ONE Bus Station or from Great Charlotte Street to Ullet Road. Services run every 10 minutes on Saturday, every 20 minutes on Sunday. Also, from Liverpool ONE
Bus Station, the 82 has a frequent service to Aigburth Road.
Don’t bring the car. There is precious little parking space around the park and what there is will fill up quickly.
You can bring your own picnic, BBQ and the like. Just be sensible. The site is dog friendly too.
But above all, enjoy the weekend.
Unlike last year, when the UK enjoyed a pretty solid baking summer, this year hasn’t proved to follow suit so far. As we write this preview, the forecast doesn’t look too bad for Oyé weekend, but, well, you know the score. Be prepared – there isn’t much in way of cover under which to hide.
We’ll see you down the front.