The organizers of the inaugural edition of Native Festival in Cancun, Mexico, have revealed an impressive first batch of African performers ahead of the event from 2 to 6 September.
The genres on the line-up are varied and include Afrobeats, dancehall, bongo flava, highlife, soca and reggaeton.
Confirmed African acts include Burna Boy, Diamond Platnumz, Fireboy DML, Nandy, King Promise and Olatunji.
Others are Spice and Dexta Daps from Jamaica, Mr Killa from Grenada and Roody Roodboy from Haiti. The organisers said they would announce another 25 artists to complete the line-up.
“There’s a massive demand for these artists, and they’re all great performers with incredible music,” Native Festival head of operations Temi Adegeye told Music In Africa. “The idea for the festival was conceived after we noticed no major genre-specific festivals in North America catered to African and/or Caribbean people in the region. For this edition, we will showcase 35 of the most trending and sonically relevant musicians from various parts of Africa and the Caribbean.”
The festival, which will take place at the Moon Palace resort, will also feature various stages to showcase visual arts, fashion, dance and cuisine.
Asked to comment on the impact of African music in Mexico, Adegeye said: “With Afrobeats’ increasing global reach combined with the high volume of Africans vacationing in Mexico in the past couple of years, the genre has become very popular. The local DJs are exploring and integrating the sound into the social scene.“
She added: “At the current rate of mainstream visibility and demand, we are confident that African music will continue to grow exponentially over the next five years. With that in mind, our biggest goal is to continue to lead in the programming space by creating larger events in various parts of the world where Afrobeats and Caribbean festivals and tours have not traditionally been held.“
The first Native Festival was supposed to take place last year but was postponed amid growing COVID-19 health concerns. The organisers say they will take take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the September event.