Five must-attend music festivals in Africa

Bush Fire Festival -- Photo Credit:

Music basically forms part of everyday life in Africa. As a matter of fact, our history, culture, and traditions are heavily influenced by music.

Just as there are hugely patronized music festivals spread out across Europe, Asia, and the Americas, Africa equally boasts same.

With music being a unifying force and an important means of entertainment and sometimes advocacy, these festivals provide the platform for some of our favorite musicians to flaunt their talents while also championing a cause.

Some of these festivals, due to their longevity and/or popularity, have successfully evolved into cultural events attracting masses of loyal followers and fans from all walks of life.

As a form of acknowledgment, we share with you five music festivals in Africa you must attend if you happen to be around during that time of the year.

Check them out below:

Five must-attend music festivals in Africa

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Felabration (Nigeria)

It wouldn’t make sense to not celebrate the legacy of afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, and that is exactly what Felabration does. Held annually in October at the New Afrika Shrine, the heavily attended week-long festival, which was started in 1998, is typically packed with performances from both local and international superstar artistes.

The likes of Hugh Masekela, Femi Kuti, Lucky Dube, Awilo, Baba Maal, Les Nubians, just to mention a few, have all graced the stage. Felabration has been named as an official tourist destination by the Lagos State Government.

Cape Town Jazz Festival (South Africa)

Held annually on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April, the Cape Town Jazz Festival is the largest music event in sub-Saharan Africa. The festival, which is acclaimed as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering”, features performances from both local and international jazz stars as well as artistes from other genres.

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people on stage, fire and night

Nyege Nyege Festival — Photo via NYEGE NYEGE on Instagram

Nyege Nyege Festival (Uganda)

Started in 2015, Nyege Nyege Festival, though young, is one of the most popular music festivals in East Africa. The four-day festival, which is held annually in September, promotes African and East African electronic music while also giving a “real voice to the underground.”

The festival venue is a forest located on the shores of the River Nile. Besides music and non-stop dancing and partying, the festival also organizes creative workshops. Other non-music activities include rafting in the river as well as swimming.

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument, on stage, guitar and night

Lake of Stars — Photo via Lake of Stars on Facebook

Lake of Stars (Malawi)

Lake of Stars is the most popular international festival in Malawi and is held in September each year. The three-day festival, which is held on the shores of the beautiful Lake Malawi, attracts international acts and also affords local artistes the opportunity to “showcase their art to a global audience.”

Five must-attend music festivals in Africa

Bush Fire Festival — Photo Credit:

Bush Fire Festival (eSwatini)

Held annually in May at the Malkerns Valley, the Bush Fire Festival attracts over 26,000 revelers both locally and internationally.

Last Edited by:Ama Nunoo Updated: February 4, 2021


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