Afro-Europe celebrates a number of festivals throughout the summer. We’ve featured some of the most popular events where you can enjoy the music, food and culture of Africa, Caribbean and Black America without leaving the continent. Updates will be made as information is received.
Afro Caribbean Festival
August 10, 11, 2012
Bredene, a coastal town in the Belgian province of West Flanders hosts an Afro Caribbean festival every year. The festivities begin on Friday, August 10. There’ll be live links with Africa, DJs, and a variety of workshops. Performers will include British dub reggae ensemble, Zion Train, Postman, Tuareg musicians Tamikrest and more. Salsa, merengue, reggae and other music will also be on tap.
Where: Paelsteenveld Park
Tel: 059 56197
Afrikanische Kulturfest (African Culture Festival)
June 30-July 1, 2012
The 7th African Cultural Festival commemorates slavery and colonialism and their impact on people of African descent. Organized by the city’s Senegalese Association. Includes: Live music, workshops, film, a bazaar with food and children’s program.
The 10th African-Festival-Hamburg ALAFIA
August 24 – 26, 2012
Three days of music, dance literature, art and food represented by Africans from all over the world. Features an open-air stage, indoor Family Day concerts and an African market with 40 stalls with food and goods from areas including Senegal, South Africa, Eritrea and the Caribbean. Performers include:
Bonny Ferrer & The Latin Souls, Y’akoto, Fôô Fanick and Mighty Howard.
Cost: Check website
Tel: +49 – (0) 40 – 734 08 44
Date (To be confirmed):
July 2012 – August 2012 (Saturdays and Sundays throughout July and August)
Held since 1975, the popular Kwakoe Festival is Amsterdam’s biggest multicultural festival and the main festive event of the Surinamese black and African community. Kwakoe attracts thousands of visitors to the Bijlmerpark show ground over six summer weekends for a program of live music, dancing, film screenings, sports, discussions and many varieties of ethnic food.
Where: Bijlmerpark in Amsterdam South East
Anton de Komplein 150
Tel: +31 (0) 20 416 0893
July 21, 27-28, 2012
This annual three-day Caribbean Carnival is held in Rotterdam’s city centre. Organizers say least 900.000 visitors come from all over Europe to enjoy the event.
July 21 – Queen Election
Unlike many other ‘Miss contests’, the Summer Carnival Queen Election isn’t only about being beautiful. As ambassador of Summer Carnival the Queen represents the festival on several occasions. Therefore eloquence and knowledge of Summer Carnival and its cultural inheritance are equally important. Amongst other elements, contestants are judged by a jury and the public on improvisation skills and dance. They also dress in dazzling carnival costumes.
Where & when: 1p.m., city centre Rotterdam.
July 27 – Fernandes Battle of Drums
Four Brass brands leave from four different locations meet each other for the Battle at the Bavaria Stage on the Coolsingel. Over a 100 percussionists and trumpeters take part in this musical battle. The winner will be named ‘Best Brass band of Summer Carnival 2012.’
Where & when: 7pm, Coolsingel.
28 July Street Parade and Live On Stage
On Saturday the big Street Parade emerges in the city centre. Live performers are featured on two stages until early Sunday morning.
Where: 1p.m., city centre Rotterdam.
Tel: 0900 4040200
August 16 to 22, 2012
Seven days of sun, sea and reggae. During the daytime, a variety of debates and workshops. When the sun goes down, the stage lights up with top artists and bands from Jamaica, Africa and Europe Afterwards there’s music in the dancehall tent where international sound systems play until dawn. This year’s performers include Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Steel Pulse and Alpha Blondy.
Bars and restaurants are open all day and night offering drinks and dishes from all over the world; the open-air market is bustling with reggae music and positive vibes coming from every stall. As well as records and handcrafted products, the market is also home to numerous non-profit organisations who promote their countless activities, aimed at improving living standards around the world.
Where: Benicàssim (between Valencia and Barcelona on the coast)
Baobab Festival 2012
June 2 at 2pm until June 3 at 11pm
Celebrating Sweden’s African community. Performers include Swedish jazz singer Miriam Aida, Senegalese singer Issa Kouyaté and more. Also, market booths, workshops, and food.
Malmö Folkets Park
Huvudingång Amiralsgatan 35, 21422 Malmö, Sweden
The Notting Hill Carnival
August 26-27, 2012
The Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest festival – more than 1 million revelers- has been taking place in London on the last weekend in August, since 1965. It began with collaboration between Caribbean immigrants, particularly those from Trinidad.
The main parade takes place on August 29 – Bank Holiday Monday. It generally begins on Great Western Road, then winds its way along Chepstow Road, on to Westbourne Grove, and then Ladbroke Grove. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession. Over 40 sound systems and hundreds of Caribbean stalls will be featured.
Where: Notting Hill, Southwest London
BY OLIVE VASSELL
Source – EuroMight