Taking place in Liverpool’s Sefton Park on the 22nd and 23rd of June, the music and culture of Africa and the diaspora will once again take centre stage for two free days of fantastic live performances, DJ sets and multi-arts workshops.

The Africa Oyé festival is the biggest free celebration of African and Caribbean music and culture in the UK, taking place every June in the picturesque surroundings of Sefton Park in Liverpool. Having grown from humble beginnings in 1992 as a series of gigs in the city centre, Oyé now attracts crowds of over 50,000 people from all over the world each year. Yesterday it was announced South Africa’s BCUC and Algerian Rai stars Sofiane Saidi & Mazalda are the first two acts announced for the 27th annual Africa Oyé festival.

Hailing from the Soweto township in Johannesburg, BCUC’s indigenous funk and high-energy performances have fast made them one of South Africa’s most successful musical exports. Artistic heirs to Philip “Malombo” Tabane and Batsumi, they seek to give a contemporary voice to the ancestral traditions of indigenous peoples, with the jazz sounds of 1970s and ‘80s replaced by hip-hop influences and a punk-rock energy.

Algerian singer and inventor of oriental glam, Sofiane Saidi recently unveiled another phase of his multifaceted history with a new electro-Maghreb vision, joining forces with the analog synths, sax, horns and percussion of turbo-clappers Mazalda to create a fizzingly fresh take on classic 80s Rai music. Liverpool will get to witness the ‘Prince of Rai 2.0’ first hand when Sofiane Saidi & Mazalda come to Sefton Park this June.

Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney said of the reveal:

” We had the pleasure of hosting BCUC last year at District when we celebrated the announcement of the plans to build a new Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park and I knew we had to bring them back to the festival so more people could experience their incredible live show. And Sofiane was someone my team and I were able to see perform live in person at last year’s WOMEX world music expo and his set just blew us away.”

Confirmed to return at this year’s festival is The Oyé Active Zone, DJ stages Trenchtown and Freetown, as well as the Oyé Introduces and community programmes, which sees local acts from the North West open the festival on each day. Festival-goers will also be able to eat and drink their way around the world with a range of food stalls and traders’ wares on offer in the Oyé Village.

More main stage artists are set to be revealed soon, following a record number of applications to play the event that Bido Lito! has called ‘the jewel in Liverpool’s festival crown’. The 2019 Africa Oyé festival will take place on 22nd and 23rd June, 2019 in Liverpool’s Sefton Park from 12:30pm til 9:30pm both days and entrance is FREE.

For more information on the festival and other events held across the country by Africa Oyé please visit africaoye.com.