The organisers of Mozambique’s Azgo Festival have announced the date and venue for this year’s musical celebration. The seventh edition of the festival will be held on 20 May at the Eduardo Mondlane University in the country’s capital Maputo.
Featuring a variety of programmes such as music, art and culture, the festival will this year host South Africa’s Ray Phiri, Mozambican artists Lay Lizzy, Ghorwane, and Batuk, which is a collaboration between South African and Mozambican musicians, as well as Ghana’s Jojo Abot. The next batch of artists will be announced next week.
Speaking to Music In Africa, Azgo Festival coordinator Jess White said the line-up would include acts from around the world. “Our line-up will feature more than 15 diverse and amazing artists from all genres, bringing acts from Mozambique, Brazil, Cape Verde, Ghana, Swaziland, Reunion Island, South Africa and Portugal to Maputo,” he said.
White said the festival would send a message bent on addressing some of Africa’s social ills. “Azgo festival has always had a strong social message,” he said. “Over the past two years we have focused the theme on Say No to Xenophobia and Climate Change. Our festival theme for 2017 will be based around gender equality. As in previous years, Azgo will programme a strong line-up of female artists and representation across our production team.”
White said Azgo Festival would continue to contribute to artistic and cultural development as well as to greater awareness of cultural issues in Southern Africa. The festival would also seek to bring together both emerging and well-known artists and involve local communities to create jobs.
This year’s festival has been reduced to one day due to the country’s economic challenges. “Since the 2016 festival, the economic situation in Mozambique has led Khuzula, the producer of Azgo Festival, to make the decision to reduce the festival to one day,” White said. “The Mozambican currency (meticais) has fallen to both the US dollar and the South African rand, which means that artist, production and logistics costs have risen quite drastically from previous years.”
The organisers of the event said in a statement that the festival would traditionally feature other forms of arts.
“From musicians, craftsmen and many other cultural makers, there will be space for everyone to dream and expand their horizons,” it said. “Speaking of dreams, the younger ones will also have a space dedicated to their imagination and creativity with the space Azgozito.”
Tickets will be available online at Entradas and Computicket. Promotional tickets with a 50% discount can be purchased in advance before 20 March.