Southbank Centre’s annual Africa Utopia festival returns for its fifth year on Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 July 2017, with an exciting line up of leading musicians, artists, performers and thinkers from across Africa and its diaspora.
The festival celebrates the arts and culture of one of the world’s most dynamic and fast-changing continents and will encompass a vibrant mix of talks, workshops and performances for all ages, both free and paid-for. Confirmed so far for 2017’s Africa Utopia festival are the award-winning Afrobeat superstar, Fuse ODG and the Chineke! Orchestra both performing in the Royal Festival Hall.
Born in London and raised in Ghana, Fuse ODG is the founder of TINA – This is New Africa – a movement whose mission is ‘re-programming the world’s mental image of Africa, its people and its diaspora’ (15 July) and Chineke! Orchestra is Europe’s first all-Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) orchestra, performing classical repertoire to mark their third performance at the festival (16 July).
The weekend will also include an Africa Utopia Marketplace, with stalls and pop-up boutiques offering the latest in African and African-inspired fashion, accessories, books, art, homeware and workshops, as well as a bustling pop-up street food market, with over 13 stalls of authentic African cuisine from across the continent.
Previous performers, artists and speakers who have taken part in Africa Utopia include award-winning Senegalese musician and human rights activist Baaba Maal; Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo; former First Lady of Somaliland and founder of the Edna Adan Hospital, Edna Adan; Kenyan creative collective The Nest; South African performer Spoek Mathambo; ‘godfather of Ethiopian jazz’ Mulatu Astatke; the Kinshasa Symphony orchestra; and many more from across the African continent and the diaspora.
The full programme and list of performers will be released early May, 2017.