22 June 2011

Africa Oye 2011 review @ Sefton Park, Liverpool

Last weekend saw African Oye return for it's ninth year at Sefton Park, and as usual it attracted people in their droves. An estimated 20,000 people turned up over the weekend to enjoy live music, fantastic authentic food, and a few beverages from the festivals very own inn.

The line up over the weekend covered many countries from Western Sahara, Cameroon, Mali, Jamica, Benin and Ethiopia to name but a few. The music itself was wide and varied and Saturday saw artists such as Mariem Hassan, who gave a fantastic hypnotic opening performance, Kareyce Fotso, who delivers her songs with such emotion, you can physically feel the power behind the lyrics to Marcia Griffiths, the "Queen of Reggae", who had the packed out Sefton Park dancing along to her songs and her energy shone through. This was a fantastic way to end to the first day.

Sunday brought a different style of music, with more emphasis on dance/R&B, with the extremely talented Amkoullel, Mali's leading rap artist who gave a performance any Eminem or Jay Z fan would have been made up to see. After seeing him perform, you can see how he's won the Malian Hip Hop award three times. Other highlights were Zewditu Yohannes, a young woman with a beautiful voice that ebbed and flowed it way across the park and Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, a band formed in 2004, who gave such energy and zest to the final performance of the night, you could see that people didn't want the weekend to end.

So all in all thank you to Africa Oye for providing another fabulous free weekend for the people of Liverpool and the North West to enjoy fantastic live music from these extremely talented people and I can't wait to see what 2012 has to offer us.

Review by Alison Goggin

Full weekend photos

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