Latest update from Africa Oye Festival
Last time Kasai Masai played at #Oye was back in 2009! We’re very excited to bring this brilliant Congolese band back for African Heat – Feast of Fire at St George’s on Saturday March 31st in Liverpool!
Africa Oyé (Official)
7 days ago
📰 PRESS RELEASE 📰
Africa Oyé: "We need the people's help to keep our festival free"
The organisers of Liverpool's Africa Oyé have called upon local investors and the people of Liverpool to help keep the festival free.
The event has been free entry since the first ever edition in 1992 when it began as a series of shows across city centre venues in Liverpool.
It has since showcased the finest in African and Caribbean music in Concert Square, Princes Park and even across the water in Birkenhead, before it made Sefton Park its home in 2005, where it has since taken place annually every June.
Recent years have seen the popularity of the festival soar, attracting a footfall of 80,000 people in its record breaking year in 2017.
The infrastructure costs that come with the increased audience numbers - added security, medical staff, and toilets to name just a few - have been a constant challenge year on year.
"It's something we've said many times before but it still rings true; Oyé is a victim of its own success. Our audience went up by thousands over a relatively short period of time. We're grateful for the support we receive from Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council, but unfortunately due to rising costs, we need more support to keep the festival free." says Oyé's Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney.
"We've been able to increase the capacity for trading pitches on the site and expand our merchandise and bar revenue, but it's still incredibly challenging to make up the difference needed with self-generated income as a free festival."
Oyé - a registered charity - has set up an online donations button on its website which can be found on the homepage at africaoye.com as well as a 'Friends of Oyé' scheme for those who are able to contribute a bit more on an annual basis
"Even if it's just a couple of quid that people can spare - we really appreciate everyone's donations" continued Paul. "They're going to be vital going forward if we want to keep the event free and open to all and at the same level of quality we're producing now."
Local investors are also invited to sponsor different elements of the festival, with the Access Facilities, On-Stage British Sign Language Interpreters, Oyé Active Zone Workshops, and the Main Stage itself all options for private sponsorship by businesses or individuals.
Paul explained, "I think people look at the size of the event we put on each year and assume there's a massive team of people behind it, when the reality is we have one full-time member of staff and just a handful of part-timers working throughout the year to make this happen."
"We also deliver workshops to schools and youth groups and co-promote other cultural events that fit within Oyé's remit. All hugely important for our mission to promote the music and culture of Africa and the Diaspora to new audiences, but not exactly huge money spinners that the festival can survive on.
"We're putting a call out to any individuals and businesses who can make sure Liverpool retains this one-of-a-kind festival as a free event. We've been told so many times that we're the 'People's Festival' and we were delighted to win the 'People's Choice Award' at the inaugural Liverpool City Region Culture & Creativity Awards last year. Our weekend was even called 'Christmas for Scousers' by one national journalist! It would be a real shame if we had no other option but to start charging for tickets or if we had to downscale the event to something a lot smaller."
For more information on investing and sponsoring the festival, please email email@example.com for an Information Pack. To donate any amount - no matter how small - please visit africaoye.com and click on the 'Paypal' button at the top of the homepage.
(Photo: Paul Duhaney by Wesley Storey) ...
If it ended up paid you still need to be allowed to bring your own ale. The stalls would just rinse you on ale if you had to buy it
Done! You guys are a credit to a Liverpool and it would be a real shame if you were forced to start charging.
To be clear, I would donate my first born to ensure Garifuna Collective came back just one year <3
I'll share on my works intranet page Paul. See if that sparks any interest x
Have you considered recording the live sets x Exit Live Music x exit.live/info/artists ** or if you have any vault recordings from previous x
It would be such a shame if it became ticketed, not because I wouldn’t be willing to pay but because it would have to be fenced off like LIMF and I think that ruins the community vibe and whole nature of oye. I love being able to pop down for a few hours and go home and come back if I like or just spend the whole weekend there, but knowing I can run home if I need to stock up on food and drink (great when you’re on a tight budget). I also love that everyone can make a day of it, pack a picnic/bbq and just lay in the sun with the best music. Hopefully plenty of people will contribute so we can keep it an open chilled festival and not a restricted event.
Limit numbers.. As Shumacher said small is beautiful...I have stopped going since you got bigger.
Hey guys what's the chances of having charity boxes in local independent pubs, bars, cafes etc Hobo Kiosk would definitely be up for this xx
I wouldn't mind paying though. I love it. A small fee would be perfectly ok. LIMF do it
No way! Don't pay! Love oye
Yeah wouldn't mind buying a ticket as long as you can byob
1 week ago
Africa Oyé's members and Board of Trustees and have elected Sonia Bassey MBE as their new Chair.
Sonia's appointment follows nearly two years of serving on the Board and a lifetime of work in the local community.
Growing up in the vibrant and active L8 area of Liverpool, Sonia has a strong sense of pride, political awareness and community activism. She became an entrepreneur at just 19 when she established herself as a community artist and director of her own business, which she still runs today. She now works as Director of Public Sector Transformation for Cheshire and Warrington, leading transformation of services across the sub region.
Sonia is also Chair of Liverpool campaign group, Mandela8, which has commissioned a memorial to Nelson Mandela in Princes Park, Toxteth. Their projects help to conserve and widely share existing historical and contemporary heritage, support community development and cohesion. Sonia has also previously served as Chair or the Merseyside Black History Month Group.
In 2017, Sonia was awarded an MBE for services to the community in Liverpool.
Incumbent Chair of Africa Oyé, Sonia Bassey MBE, said:
"Having been a Board Member of Oyé for 18 months, I am excited to take on the role of Chair to drive forward the organisations new priorities and continue to ensure we deliver the best world renowned international festival whilst developing our work into new areas."
Sonia takes over the role from Gad Kuju, who steps down as Chair after nine years in the role.
Recognised in 2019 with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to diversity, multiculturalism and our very own festival in the New Years Honours, Gad will continue to serve on the board as a trustee, overseeing operational and event management.
Parting Chair, Gad Kuju BEM, said:
"I could not have served as Chairman over past years without the help of a wonderfully supportive Board, Artistic Director and the whole Oyé Family and Team, past and present.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their help, and hard work. I simply cannot thank all enough for the support and friendship over the past years .Being the Chairman of the wonderful and FREE Africa Oyé Festival has been one of the biggest honours of my life to date.
I step down in the knowledge that Oyé is in a strong position. We have managed to maintain the remit of keeping the festival free for the past 25 + years .I am confident that this will continue with the appointment of the new Chair Sonia Bassey MBE I would also like to wish Sonia all the best; I couldn't be handing the reigns over to a more capable person." ...
congrats Sonia, that's great news, its such a fab festival, and your passion and dedication can only ensure it keeps getting better and better in future. 👍👏 x
Congratulations cuz!!! Xx
Well done Sonia
Well done Sonia ,❤️Wish You all The Best,🥊🥊💖❤️
Congratulations Sonz xx
Well done. Wish you every success x
Well done Sonia x
Congratulations Sonia xxx
Congrats Sonia. Great news for us Oye fans. We are confident that you will steer Africa Oye into even greater success for years to come.
Congratulations Sonia Bassey, well deserved 👍🏼♥️
Congratulations 🥳 wonderful choice
Go on Sonia, the kids will be made up....lovely litte job
Congrats Son xxx
Congratulations to my wonderful friend. You were always destined to do great things. Well done matey. You deserve everything that you have gained because you have always worked hard. You are an inspiration to the community and the younger generation. Hopefully see you soon for a catchup. Love ya Sonia Bassey xxx
Congratulations Sonia! Well deserved x
That's fantastic news. Congratulations Sonia,you are one busy busy busy lady and all for the good of community and City 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽
Thanks all i am overwhelmed by the positive response and all your kind messages ❤
Many congratulations and good wishes...it's a wonderful innovation. I remember meeting the amazing Bassey family many years ago.
Congratulations Sonia x
Brilliant Sonia!!! You’ll do an amazing job x
congratulations it will be good to see some youth from the area performing there
Congratulations Sonia, thoroughly deserved 👏👏👏👏
Congratulations Sonia a great appointment 👌🏾👍🏾 x
Congratulations Sonia 🍾
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