African Music Culture

10 African Music Festivals That Are Worth Catching A Flight For

African Music Festivals
Written by Jesca

Attending African music festivals will introduce to you the continent’s unique sounds, beats, and vibes. African music festivals will help you understand its culture better.

Many of these incredible festivals combine the big international artists with local artists, introducing a new crowd to fusion Afro beats. African musicians mix hip-hop, rock and other genres with their culture and heritage. If you’re planning to travel to Africa, consider attending one of these African music festivals.

What is the Biggest Music Festival in Africa?

One of the biggest music festivals in Africa is the Cape Town Jazz Festival. The event, which lasts for two days at the end of March, showcases an all-star lineup of jazz musicians from around the world.

At any music festival in Africa, you can expect spectacular adventures, outdoor camping, and a variety of sights, sounds, and cultures. These are the best music festivals in Africa.

  1. Mawazine, Morocco

Mawazine Music Festival Morocco

Mawazine Music Festival Morocco. Photo/Al Bawaba

Mawazine is another annual African music festival that features popular international and local musicians. The event, which takes place in Rabat, Morocco, is a project of the Maroc Cultures Association. The festival began in 2001 as a component of Morocco’s tourist effort to unite people from various cultural backgrounds through music.

With several stages, including the international stage, orientation stage, African stage, Moroccan stage, World Music stage, Discovery stage, and Tarab stage, the music festival draws over 2 million visitors.

2. Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa

Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa

Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa. Photo/rove.me

One of the greatest music events in Africa takes over Cape Town on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April. The two-day festival hosts a variety of foreign and South African musicians.

Artists including Chaka Khan, Sho Madjozi, Amel Larrieux, Beatenberg, and Amanda Black have previously performed on stages with a jazzy sound. Besides music, the festival also hosts several photographic exhibitions, a jazz gala supper, and a golf day.

3. Vic Falls Carnival, Zimbabwe

Vic Falls Carnival, Zimbabwe.

Vic Falls Carnival, Zimbabwe. Photo/ seeafricatoday.com

Vic Falls Carnival is also one of the African music festivals. This 3-day event is the largest cultural event of Southern African talent. From December 29 to December 31 at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the attendees can participate in several adventure activities, including bungee jumping, sunset river cruises, and white water rafting. The festival features musicians from Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Namibia.

4. Sauti Za Busara, Tanzania

Sauti Za Busara, music festival

Sauti Za Busara, music festival. Photo/ Africalia

This four-day carnival-style African music festival has three gigantic stages. The festival hosts over 400 African musicians in Zanzibar every year. Popular Artists from Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Reunion Island, Morocco, and Algeria grace the festival.

5. Festac – Lagos, Nigeria

Festac festival Nigeria

Festac festival Nigeria. Photo/Global Times

One of Nigeria’s largest music events is Festac. Also known as the Lagos Music Festival, the event features some of the best musicians from Africa, including Phyno, Patoranking, Seyi Shay, Inyanya, and Ruff Coin.

The goals of the festival are to support the growth of Nigerian musicians and give them a creative platform to showcase their talent to both the domestic and global music scene. The event mixes food, visual arts, and music.

6. Nyege Nyege Uganda

African Music Festivals

Nyege Nyege Uganda. Photo/ Twitter

This festival has gained momentum in its effort to highlight the music scene in East Africa and beyond. Nyege Nyege in Luganda literally translates to “an uncontrollable desire to shake and dance”. Therefore, it is not surprising that the youth flock to the Nile river’s source’s shores every September.

For four days, about 200 aspiring musicians from all over Africa perform on the five stages in Jinja for an enormous audience. The Nyege Nyege annual music festival highlights underground music and African performers. The festival stands for peace, love, joy, and breaking boundaries, always with a spirit of inclusivity. Enjoy four days of nonstop celebrations, a wide range of musical genres, and artistic workshops.

7. Rocking the Daisies, South Africa

African Music Festivals

Rocking the Daisies, South Africa. Photo/rove.me

One of the biggest African music festivals is Rocking the Daisies. Held in Cape Town and Johannesburg, these two unforgettable weekends include a lineup of local South African musicians and international musicians. In 2021, Stormzy, Ari Lennox, Col3trane, Elaine, Lordkez and Scorpion Kings performed at the event.

8. Lake of Stars, Malawi

African Music Festivals

Lake of Stars, Malawi. Photo/experientialstar.com

The enchanting setting of the ocean-like Lake Malawi, with its golden shores and deep blue waters, serves as the platform for amazing Afro-pop music. You’ll want to dance all day and all night to music from international artists, African musicians, and party DJs.

Also to Enjoy the spectacular sunrise over the water. You’ll be rewarded with enlightening new African music, poetry, workshops, and short films if you’re open-minded about the strange actions.

9. Accra Electronic Music Festival, Ghana

African Music Festivals

Accra Electronic Music Festival, Ghana. Photo/DJ Mag

Ghana’s largest electronic African music festival, the Accra Electronic Music Festival, features international DJs. The festival also gives a chance for aspiring musicians in electronic music production to take the platform.

The 4-day music extravaganza also offers songwriting and electronic music production classes. The event strives to unite African and foreign musicians while fostering a fun atmosphere for all music lovers.

10. Afropunk, South Africa

Afropunk, South Africa

Afropunk, South Africa. Photo/ In Your Pocket

Afro refers to someone who is of African descent, Black, rhythm and colour, other, and the underdog. Punk is defined as a rebel who rejects the easy way out, upholds a DIY ethic, and looks to the future with simplicity, rawness, and open curiosity.

You won’t be thinking underdog when you look at the Afropunk lineup. The biggest names in African music, creativity, and conversation come together in late December at this legendary Johannesburg African music festival.

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Jesca

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