As the world slowly reopens — and just in time for our southern hemisphere summer — there are various upcoming music festivals for sun and music chasers to diarise.
As the world slowly reopens — and just in time for our southern hemisphere summer — there are various upcoming music festivals for sun and music chasers to diarise.
Image: 123rf.com

Rolling lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 took many music festivals off the social events calendar for close to two years. Now as the world slowly reopens — and just in time for our southern hemisphere summer — while we wait for the recently postponed Fugees reunion tour, and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2022 dates to be confirmed, these are six of the hottest upcoming music festivals for sun and music chasers to diarise.

December 2021/January 2022

Afrochella

In 2019, the Ghana bug bit hard and saw many high-profile guests including Naomi Campbell, Boris Kodjoe and wife, Nicole Ari Parker, Rosario Dawson, Tina Lawson and Netflix’s chief marketing officer, ​​Bozoma Saint John, among many others, flock to the country to mark the “Year of the Return”, a campaign proclaimed by 0 for diasporan Africans. The year also marked the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of enslaved Africans to North America. CNN reported that compared to 2018, Ghana’s economy expanded with a GDP growth rate of 6.7% in the first quarter alone. Now all eyes are on Ghana as a bucket-list destination, anchored by, among other festivals, the annual event known as Afrocella.

A celebration of Africa’s diverse culture and vibrant work of African creatives and entrepreneurs, Afrochella is designed to “elevate and highlight the thrilling and thriving millennial talent in Africa by introducing an interactive event that teaches, explains and explores various cultures through a pioneering approach,” as described on its website. In October, Afrocella posted on its Instagram account (@afrochella) asking its followers to save the date for a New Year’s Eve party in the capital of Accra. Have passport, will travel!

For more information, visit the website

Afrochella.
Afrochella.
Image: Supplied

February 2022

Sauti Za Busara

The pan-African festival, meaning sounds of wisdom in Swahili, that takes place in Stone Town, Zanzibar, is gearing up for its 19th edition from February 11-13. This year’s theme is Paza Sauti: Amplifying Women’s Voices. We’ll have to assume it was the NPA’s decision not to prosecute Sjava for the case of rape filed against him by Lady Zamar, that prompted the festival organisers to comfortably add the musician to a line-up that includes Msaki, Nomfusi from SA, and Siti and the Band from Zanzibar, among other acts mostly from the diaspora.

Anyway, the festival cites its unique mix of artists as the key to its success. It also draws attention to music being beyond entertainment and enjoyment but also a platform for freedom of expression, inspiration and shared cultural identities.

“When people have access to conscious music, this benefits society by opposing oppression, reducing conflict, encouraging tolerance and peace,” according to its manifesto. “The right to enjoy and participate in arts and culture are fundamental human rights that we strive to protect and champion for all.”

For more information, visit the website

Sauti Za Busara.
Sauti Za Busara.
Image: Supplied

Rio Carnival

Carnival is already counting down to its biggest annual gathering in Rio de Janeiro, set to take place from February 22 to March 5 after it was cancelled in 2021. Known for its endless hedonistic all-day, all-night street parades and parties, the festival attracts everyone, from heads of state to celebrities such as Beyoncé, Ciara and NFL star Russell Wilson, Madonna, Jude Law and J-Lo, among many others. It’s not called the “world’s biggest party” for nothing: the last event, held in 2020, saw 10-million people take part in the street parades. It’s definitely a festival to plan a Brazil trip around.

For more information visit the website.

Rio Carnival in Brazil.
Rio Carnival in Brazil.
Image: Supplied

March 2022

SXSW Music Festival

With temperatures averaging 25°C in Austin Texas in March, it makes the summer festival cut. Taking place from March 14 to 20, the Showcasing Artists puts new, developing and established artists on stage, curated by South by Southwest in collaboration with record labels, lifestyle brands, booking agencies and more. The festival “brings together artists, industry professionals, and music lovers around the world to make connections, elevate their careers, and celebrate the magic of live music — from legendary performers to the most exciting new talent”, according to the site’s description.

For the first time in 34 years, reportedly, SXSW was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns, and in 2021, the music festival took place virtually, featuring a line-up of artists from Australia, China, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and included our very own Bongeziwe Mabandla. While 2022’s line-up has not yet released, with applications to perform having recently closed on October 14, you can enjoy previous years’ performances and playlists and keep up to date with announcements by visiting the website

SXSW Music Festival in Texas.
SXSW Music Festival in Texas.
Image: Supplied

April 2022

Vic Falls Carnival

The event organisers recently announced, “Africa’s most exhilarating music and adventure festival, The Vic Falls Carnival, returns in 2022 at one of the Seven Wonders of the World for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, bigger and better than ever!” For the past nine years, the carnival has always taken place over the New Year period but organisers have now chosen a long weekend that offers festival-goers more competitive packages, a wider selection of artists around the continent, and great weather (30°Cs) to see the Victoria Falls in all its glory after the summer rains.

Marking its 10th edition, the carnival will take place from April 29 to May 1 and features SA DJ and producer DJ Maphorisa, Amapiano King Kabza de Small, Zimbabwe’s Amapiano Queen Sha Sha and SA record producer Master KG. For more information on tickets, packages and line-up, visit the website

Vic Falls Carnival.
Vic Falls Carnival.
Image: Supplied

Coachella

Coachella returns on April 15 to 17 and April 22 to 24. In late October, word was Rage Against the Machine and Travis Scott were confirmed as headliners, but since Scott’s recent Astroworld concert on November 5, which led to the deaths of eight revellers, his appearance is now up in the air. According to reports, festival co-founder Paul Tollett confirmed Frank Ocean, who was also on the postponed 2020 headliner line-up, will be back on 2023’s bill instead of 2022’s. Pundits are betting on the inclusion of Cardi B, and Billie Eilish is also rumoured to be a hot ticket.

What has been settled is that 2020 ticket purchases will be honoured for 2022’s event. If the bug has bitten and a trip to California, including a festival stopover, is on the horizon, the time is now to join the waiting list for tickets.

For more information, visit the website.

The famous Ferris Wheel at Coachella.
The famous Ferris Wheel at Coachella.
Image: Pixabay
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