So, the weekend in June very year that Matt, Richard and myself always look forward to arrive last weekend (16th and 17th) Africa Oye 2018.

For those who have never been or heard about Oye it’s held in Sefton Park, Liverpool every June and is a festival of African Music and culture. It’s been voted one of the best free festivals in the UK on more than once. I for one feel like a little kid on the lead up to Christmas Day once the end of May and beginning of June comes every year.

The Saturday came and I made my way to Matts to meet up with him, Richard and Claire, our “Oye virgin” (Claire was attending her first Africa Oye)

Once at Sefton Park we picked up our Photo passes from Ally, one top guy who always sorts us with passes every year. Ally we can’t thank you enough and of course the boss man himself Mr Paul Duhaney for all the help and assistance you have given us in the years we have been covering this wonderful festival.

It’s also nice to meet up with some fellow music photographers who I personally only meet in dark venues and have very little time normally to chat to. The first day got off to a great start by the brilliant “Movema” who now seem to have a permanent dance section to open up the festival every year.

We then had a heavy but thankfully brief downpour of rain just before “Kasai Masai” came onto stage. High light of day one for me was the return of the fabulous kora player and singer “Sona Jobarteh” who last played Oye two years before.

Claire seemed to have really enjoyed her first taste of Oye, dancing away with Matt at “Freetown” and “Trenchtown” but called it a day once the music had stopped to leave Matt still at it all night until the Sunday Sunrise at the Oye after party at Constellations in town!

The Sunday late morning came and Richard picked me up just as we got a message not to pick Matt up as he was still snoring in bed after his all night dance marathon. So we made our way to Sefton Park and got there with a little time to spare before the first artist so got some much needed breakfast from one of the many excellent food stalls set around the festival sight.

Highlight of Sunday and (for me personally) the whole weekend, was the Cape Verde singer “Lura”. This lady owned the stage with a beautiful voice. She made a lot of new fans at Oye without a doubt.

Headline were The Bad boys of Reggae “Inner Circle” who closed Africa Oye 2018 in fine style. If you not sure who these guys are search “Sweat” (A La La Long) or “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle and you will know who they are.

So what can we say about Africa Oye? well here’s one word AWESOME!

If you have never been you really should, in fact if you book onto my Gig Photography Workshop you can even be in with the chance of shooting at Africa Oye 2019 from the Press Pit thanks to the wonderful people at Oye I will be having a draw from everyone attending my work shop to shoot with me and my fellow Fujiholics with press pit access! link below.

Please also visit the Africa Oye Web site and buy some merchandise from the shop as it all helps to keep this amazing festival free

Love and Peace