With Europe’s summer currently in full swing, many of Africa's brightest stars are heading north for performances at music festivals all over the ‘old’ continent.
The 28th annual Afrika Festival Hertme will take place on the weekend of 2 and 3 July in the Netherlands. It takes place on the same weekend as the Amsterdam Roots Festival but on the other side of the country, near the German border, in the green open-air theatre in the town of Hertme.
This year’s event will once again welcome both legendary names and upcoming talent to Hertme. A total of ten bands will be performing on the first weekend of July.
On Saturday 2 July, starting at 1pm, six groups will be performing. Young Moroccan diva Oum starts the ball rolling with her new acoustic repertoire taking her even closer to her Saharawi roots. Next up will be upcoming talent Moh! Kouyaté from Guinea, connecting his Mandingo roots to the Mississippi Delta, Afrobeat and funk. Revered Nigerian saxophonist Orlando Julius then enters the stage with British band The Heliocentrics. His latest album Afro Jaiyede was hailed as "one of the hardest, funkiest and at the same time most subtle record of 2015," by Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. Songhoy Blues, four young Malians exiled from their home city of Timbuktu, will close the afternoon’s proceedings.
The first evening belongs to two groups: the first being Ghanaian highlife legend Pat Thomas with his Kwashibu Area Band, two weeks after his show at Africa Oyé in the UK. Closing the evening will be Congolese rumba star Sam Mangwana, once a vital part of the famous backing band of Franco, Odemba OK Jazz Allstars.
Kicking off at 12:30pm on Sunday 3 July will be Guinea-Bissau’s rising star Karyna Gomes. She first emerged as a member of the legendary Super Mama Djombo but has since embarked on a solo career. She will be followed by Malian band Bamba Wassoulou Groove, who pay tribute to the late great Zani Diabaté and his Super Djata Band, one of Mali's biggest acts of the 1980s, giving it a contemporary twist with rock, blues and psychedelic influences. Next up will be Kenya-based Congolese band Orchestre Les Mangelepa, currently celebrating 40 years with a tour of Europe.
The two-day festival will be closed by Senegalese legend Youssou N'Dour and his 12-member band Super Étoile de Dakar. N'Dour is best known among the Western public for his collaborations with the likes of Sting, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and his collaboration with Neneh Cherry, resulting in the global hit '7 Seconds' in 1994.
Considered by leading English world music magazine Songlines as one of the 25 best international festivals for three years in a row (2013-2015), Afrika Festival Hertme has over the years become famous for its intimate atmosphere. Besides the music on offer, visitors have access to an African market with great food and drink. For more details visit the Afrikafestival Hertme website or Facebook page. Tickets cost €23 per day or €42 for the full weekend and are available here.