Hot air, lots of smoke, loud live music, palm wine and beautiful Nigerian ladies in costumes gyrating on stage, are a few of the things unique to Felabration, an annual musical festival held at the New Afrika Shrine in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria.
The festival which is the brainchild of Yeni Kuti, to celebrate her father, the great legendary afrobeat musician Fela, brings together artist and fans from all around the world for a week long event of supercharged performances.
Afrobeat music is genre created and named by Fela while in Ghana in 1968 and popularized in the 70’s. It is arguably the most popular genre of music in west Africa, a great percentage of young Nigerian artist claim Afrobeat or it’s subset “Afropop” to represent their music and many more cite it as an inspiration for their music.
Usual highlights of the festival are performance by Femi and Seun Kuti. Femi is the eldest son of the Late Afrobeat legend and Seun is the youngest. Seun currently head and plays with his late father band, the “Egypt 80” band.
The mood of the festival is euphoric! The New Afrika Shrine takes on a role as a sort of home for all and promotes a certain invulnerable freedom to the festival goers. Responsible drinking and smoking (usually weed) are “allowed”. It is haven for the music lover and provides a safe “let loose” environment.
Over the week long festival you have various top local and international artist grace the stage to perform to their fans and will usually take a few minutes to pay homage to Fela.
It doesn’t take much to “ginger” the already excited festival goers and a well known route is to shout the infamous “Ararararaa” which provokes a passionate response from the crowd “Ororororoo” the reverse is also applicable.
Felabration is becoming more than just a festival it’s a movement and will continue to be a platform where social issues can be candidly addressed and highlighted through music as the great Fela did.
Till the next Felabration, Ararararaa! Ororororoo! Fela lives on!
See More images from the Felabration 2016, Scene below!