The Africa Nouveau Festival, a 2-day/2-night arts and music festival congregating creators, curators and fans from Africa and its diaspora, is set for February 2nd-4th 2018 (a postponement from the initial date in November 2017 due to considerations around the political climate in October). The festival will be held at the Ngong Racecourse Waterfront, kicking off at 5pm on Friday 2nd February and closing at 11pm on Sunday 4th February.
The festival aims to celebrate the most progressive, cutting edge and innovative music, film and fashion from African creatives under the theme Afrobubblegum. Coined by renowned film Director Wanuri Kahiu, the Afrobubblegum ideology asserts the right of African creatives to be as fun, fierce and fantastical as they would like to be, and that their creations need not be for any other purpose but joyful expression of their ideas.
The artist lineup for the festival reflects a pan-African flavour, with a bit of representation from nearly every region of Africa, with musicians from Sao Tome e Principe, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and DRC. Of note is the festivals deliberate focus on new, upcoming, innovative and progressive artistes. Sunday 4th of February will be extra special, with Blankets & Wine taking over the music programing with South African Star Kwesta headlining the day.
Thanks to a partnership with the British Council under the East African Arts program, there will be a significant fashion component to the festival, with representation of various fashion enterprises, designers, photographers, stylists and other actors within the fashion ecosystem from Kenya, Ethiopia, and the UK. Attendees will be invited to do fittings with the designers exhibiting at the festival and participate in professional photo shoots, leading up to a digitally distributed fashion magazine comprising stories of the designers, with their updated contacts and photographs of their work on the festival attendees. Prior to the festival, there will be networking and skill sharing sessions between players in the fashion industry, geared towards deepening connections and knowledge. The Festival intends to act as a catalyst for the production of new, collaborative art within the sector.
Film will most certainly feature significantly, with a number of films, including Virtual Reality movies, from various parts of Africa, all in line with the Afro Bubblegum spirit, curated by Wanuri Kahiu.
The Africa Nouveau Festival is designed for an adult audience, and the organisers strongly discourage attendees from bringing children along. Food and drinks purchased offsite will not be allowed into the festival venue.
(The British Council has been a notable partner of the festival, with its East Africa Arts Programme partnering with Africa Nouveau to understand its needs and ambitions and to connect the Festival with aligned partners in the UK.) Other partners include Uber, Planning Kenya, Ofgen, Goethe Institut, and Homeboyz.
The Festival is overall an immersive, arguably unprecedented experience that should serve to awaken us to the possibilities that lie within our vibrant, multi-faceted creative culture. It is a call to all to dare to be fun, fierce and fantastical.
3,500 for the weekend
1,800 for the daily pass