Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Festival on Thursday July 2 revealed details of its plans for 2020, which will see the bulk of the event’s programming move online.
Running across four days in September (3-6) Nyege Nyege will this year collaborate with collectives from across Africa for its programming via a digital platform developed by African Digital Art (ADA). The programming will see Nyege Nyege present its signature party in Uganda, while remotely connecting with 25 collectives, in full compliance with Uganda’s COVID-19 safety measures.
Alongside Nyege Nyege’s own residents, such as Slikback, Kampire, MC Yallah, and Authentically Plastic, there will be special showcases curated by Sahel Sounds in Niger and Mauritania, Nadah El Shazly in Egypt, LaSunday in Ivory Coast, Sun-El World and Pussy Party in South Africa, Jakaranda Festival in Zimbabwe, and Jowaa Asokpor Corner in Ghana.
Kenya’s acts shall be represented by Shraplife’s AD Family (Boutross, Dope-I-Mean and K-Green), three of the fast rising stars in the Kenyan Shrap scene.
Shrap stands for Sheng- street language used mostly by Kenyan youth and Rap.
Beyond the continent, Lisbon’s Príncipe, Moonshine from Quebec, Jookoo from Barcelona, and AS A SS and Al Hara from Palestine will all present showcases, while Chicago’s EQ Why will represent Chicago’s footwork scene.
“By exploring the hybrid of the physical and the digital we cherish this totally unique opportunity to explore the full potential of an online component to the festival,” Nyege Nyege co-founder Derek Debru commented in an interview with Music in Africa.
“We hope to create a moment that will carry these new connections forward, give more visibility to the collectives involved and build momentum towards more collaborations, solidarity and of course amazing music and art.”
Launched in 2015, the annual festival curates a unique roster of international and African electro sounds. It typically takes place at the idyllic Nile Discovery Beach in Jinja. In addition, the festival’s year-long music residency connects underground musicians from Africa with one another and with producers and musicians beyond the continent.
In tandem with the digital version, an in-person festival in Uganda will also occur. Generally held on Nile Discovery Beach in Jinja, this year’s location hasn’t been announced as organizers wait for an August update from the country’s health ministry on COVID-19 safety regulations for public gatherings.
“It might be two it might be 2,000 [people], maybe we will be tested, maybe we will have to wash our hands and wear masks, that part is COMPLETELY UNKNOWN. And that, as an event organizer is the worst possible scenario,” the festival said in a recent Facebook post discussing how it will function amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A separate lineup has been announced for the physical edition, which includes DJs like Catu Diosis and Kampire as well as live sets from other Nyege Nyege Label affiliates like MC Yallah, Otim Alpha and HHY & Kampala Unit.
Ticket information will be available from July 15 through their website.
Mookh Africa, one of the main event ticket suppliers announced a refund of all the tickets purchased prior to the pending decision concerning the physicality of the event.
“Following the announcement that @NyegeNyegeFest 2020 is pushing towards it’s most ambitious edition yet, but the physicality of the event is still undecided due to covid, we will be refunding all the tickets already purchased.” wrote the event ticketing website on Twitter.
Check out the highlights from last year’s Nyege Nyege Festival below:
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