History and Photo Galleries - (click on images for slideshow)
For the past few years we have been working towards raising the visibility of arts emerging from the African subcontinent and in doing so, have presented high quality professional artists of African origin in the UK Since 2003, ‘L’Afrique’ has established itself in the calendar of UK cultural events.
It has built up a remarkable record of attracting major names of African music. Many of the greatest names in world music have played on L’Afrique Festival stages.
Among them are Amadou and Mariam (Mali), Angélique Kidjo (Benin), Petit Pays (Cameroon), Mory Kanté (Guinea), Rokia Traoré (Mali), Mighty Zulu Nation / Late Luky Dube (South Africa), Ray Lema/ Awilo/ Werasson (DRC), Alpha Blondy / Meiway (Ivory Coast), Ty / Tony Allen (Nigeria) and many others.
2010 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
The L’AFRIQUE FESTIVAL 2010 Live Concert featured Ivorian premier performer and international star Meiway & The Zo – Gang International, Don Kikas (Angola) and Hip-Hop’s eclectic warrior Ty (Nigeria)
2009 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
The 2009 Festival introduced the sensational Awilo Longomba as the headlining, act performing live for the first time in the North East of England at the Journal Tyne Theatre.
Added to this came superb performances from Sagar and Diabel, Franck Akyl, Lilas La Fleur, Hassle, DJ Edu, Soznak, Afro Caribbean Fusion, and Staff Benda Bilili.
2007 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
A chance to discover one of the Democratic Republic of Congo's best known artists. Mulamba's work is regularly displayed internationally and some of his paintings are on the walls of the Congolese presidency. He mixes abstract work with more conventional representations of African life.
2006 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
The 2006 L'Afrique Festival was bigger and better than ever. Over 20,000 people enjoyed the range of events that was held from September 18 - 24.
Two major stars of African music performed in the North East for the first time: Ivorian Reggae superstar Alpha Blondy at Grey's Monument on Sept 23 and Benin's World Music diva Angelique Kidjo the following day at the Sage. Other highlights included two other firsts: an Afro-Caribbean street carnival and an African Film Festival at the Tyneside Cinema.
2005 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
The pinnacle of Festival '05, the concert at The Sage Gateshead sawInternational artists perform before a diverse audience.
Headlining at the event was Lokua Kanza (DR Congo) and Petit Pays (Cameroon) and Les Sans Visas, with support from The Mighty Zulu Nation.
The legendary Tony Allen, described as "a restless and potent trail blazer for new African musical adventures" played The Sage Gateshead in what was an eventful and powerful performance.
2004 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
L'Afrique '04 was the second time the event has been hosted, and it was a great success, building on the solid foundations of the first festival. The festival has two clear aims. Firstly, to create an opportunity to directly experience and celebrate our region's growing cultural diversity and vitality. Secondly, to showcase the contribution of new African communities to the Region's arts and culture, reflecting the inclusion of those communities within the whole community of the North East.
It was headlined by Mory Kante, who was the first African artist to sell a million singles with his global hit, Yeke Yeke.
2003 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
L’Afrique ’03 was the first time an event of this nature was held in the North East, and it marked a groundbreaking step for African culture.