By NAFISAT ALAO
Toronto’s largest African music festival, Afrofest, takes place this weekend at Woodbine Park from Friday, July 7, through to Sunday, July 9, with more than 45 performances from artists from across Africa.
Various genres of music will be performed that showcase African and Black culture. Genres such as Afrobeats, Afropop, Amapiano, Makossa, Reggae, Rumba, Soukous, and more will be played.
Afrofest at Woodbine Park will include The Main Stage, Baobab Stage, Afrofest Marketplace and Children’s Creative Village.
Music will be heard from both The Main Stage and Baobab Stage from a plethora of artists.
The Main Stage will primarily feature performances from established artists while Baobab Stage is an “engaging” space that will have performances from more emerging artists. Baobab Stage also has shorter performances that focus more on the interaction between the emcees and the audience.
Afrofest Marketplace will feature more than 90 food and merchandise vendors and the Children’s Creative Village will be an area reserved for kids who are exposed to basic elements of African culture. Activities in this area will include face painting, storytelling, and other interactive elements.
Woodbine Park is located at 1695 Queen St. E., northeast of Lower Coxwell Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East.
As in past years, admission to Afrofest is free. Here are all the details on the events this weekend at the 35th annual Afrofest:
Friday, July 7; The Main stage at Woodbine Park
The festival opens on Friday, July 7, in the evening with performances taking place on The Main Stage only. The event will be hosted by Mr. Activated from Niger and AJ Styles from Nigeria.
The event’s first performance begins with a multinational community drum ensemble led by Saikou Sabo at 6 p.m.; followed by a performance from DJ Mike from Nigeria at 7:30 p.m.; Temi from Nigeria at 8:45 p.m.; and finally wrapping up the night with Salatiel from Cameroon at 9:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 8; The Main Stage and Baobab stage
The festivities continue on Saturday, July 8, this time with performances on both The Main stage and Baobab stage beginning in the afternoon and ending in the late evening.
The hosts of the events on this day are Danae Part from Jamaica and George Chukwu (Aka- Bluetooth) from Nigeria hosting the main stage and MC Bonde and Mr. Activated hosting Baobab stage.
The Main Stage: Saturday, July 8
On The Main Stage, the performing artists include DJ Flowmaster from Kenya at noon; followed by the multinational community drum ensemble led by Saikou Sabo at 12:30 p.m. Later in the afternoon, Abeena Samm from Guyana performs at 3:30 p.m.; followed by Donne Roberts from Madagascar at 4:30 p.m.; Dolo The Gifted from Angola at 5:45 p.m.; Success K from Nigeria at 6:45 p.m.; Killer T and the 263 Band perform a tribute to Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe at 8 p.m. and closing the night on the Main stage is Pekosse animation (Dr Congo) at 9:30 p.m.
Baobab Stage; Saturday, July 8
On Baobab Stage, a number of performances will be taking place as well. The hosts on this stage include Mr. Activated, Mc Bonde and AJ Styles.
The performing artists on this stage include DJ King Bizzy from Ghana at 1 p.m.; Prince Amine from Morocco at 4 p.m.; Zuba 4000Kg from South Sudan at 4:15 p.m.; Sasha Chaa from Algeria at 4:35 p.m.; Revboy from Uganda at 4:55 p.m.; DJ Havil from Nigeria at 5:10 p.m.; Lauriel Inc. from Nigeria at 5:45 p.m.; Silla from Ghana at 6 p.m. Music performances will hold off for a while after to allow the Afrofest Fashion show at 6:10 p.m. to take place along with the Afrofest dance-off at 6:50 p.m.
Continuing with performances, there will be a Fusion Vibez multinational performance at 7:10 p.m.; followed by a performance from hosts AJ Styles and Mr. Activated at 7:30 p.m.; Clo Clo Claudel (Dr. Congo) will perform at 7:45 p.m.; Baggotee from Nigeria at 8:30 p.m.; BM-Dr Congo at 8:45 p.m.; and to close the night Dj Havil from Nigeria will perform at 9:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 9: The Main Stage
On the final day of the event, there will be a number of performances and shows to conclude the three-day-long event. Returning as hosts on this day will be George Chukwu and Danae Part.
DJ Biggy from Ethiopia kicks off the final day of performances at noon; followed by a multinational performance from Beyond Sound at 2 p.m.; Amanie Illfated from South Sudan at 3:15 p.m.; Destiny from Trinidad performs at 4:15 p.m.; Slim Flex featuring Abu Patrick from Ghana perform together at 5:30 p.m.; and then Exco Levi from Jamaica at 6:45 p.m.; and the closing main stage performance takes place by Jose Chameleone from Uganda at 8:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 9: Baobab Stage
A mix of musical performances as well as talent shows will also be taking place on Baobab Stage. Mc Bonde and AJ Styles will be returning as hosts on this event stage.
DJ Scar from Haiti begins the set of performances at 1 p.m.; followed by Trey from Trinidad who performs later on the afternoon at 4:15 p.m. Continuing on with performances, Ona Dema from Nigeria takes the stage at 4:30 p.m.; after that SOFINARI from Equatorial Guinea performs at 4:45 p.m.; GhCali from Ghana performs at 5 p.m.; Tk Smooth from Zimbabwe performs at 5:10 p.m.; and Pencil from Jamaica at 5:30 p.m. The event’s last few performances include Borelson from Gabon at 5:45 p.m.; followed by the Afrofest Fashion show at 6 p.m.; and then the Afrofest dance-off at 6:30 p.m., and then Kirk Diamond from Jamaica performs at 7:30 p.m.; then TK smooth returns to conclude the festival with a performance at 8 p.m.
For more information on this year’s Afrofest, please go to https://www.afrofest.ca/