Nyege Nyege festival bounces back in Style

The much anticipated 5th edition of Nyege Nyege is aimed at bringing forth the full force of the Ugandan and East African creative spirit. Performances, happenings, situations and art installations featuring dancers, acrobats, graffiti artists, fortune tellers, musicians, inventors and rainmakers all come together to create one grand adventure that lasts for four days, right at the source of the Nile. This year’s Nyege Nyege will also put renewed emphasis on the food experience, combining the best of East African cuisine with classic Ugandan street food and delicacies from all over the world.

Even more so than previous years, this year’s edition will be highly participatory and interactive, with a special emphasis on building community and spaces that are safe and fun with care for the forest that hosts the event.This year Nyege Nyege is endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism and the town of Njeru, making it a joint effort to showcase the beauty and hospitality of Uganda to all foreign visitors. Nyege Nyege is partnering with several touring companies in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa and Los Angeles to give visitors a chance to combine the festival with other adventures, from rafting to safari and mountain climbing, or simply relaxing.


This year the festival will feature five stages, as well as roving traditional bands and a few dance hall disco shacks outside the festival grounds where surprise acts from the official line up will perform.

Headlining the festival will be Fulu Mziki the legendary eight piece band from Kinshasa will make their first appearance outside of the DRC and will be in Kampala for a month building instruments, costumes and recording an album in the Nyege Nyege Studio, ahead of one of the most anticipated performances of the festival. Dj Diaki, the Balani king of Bamako will bang out his showcase of Mali’s unique sound system culture, Mauritanian synth freak-out masters WZN will perform for the first time outside their country. Menzi and Phelimuncasi will bring the hard Gqom and Sgubhu sound of Durban, while Yugen Blakrock will represent the burgeoning South African hip-hop scene. WZN will make their first trip outside of Mauritania with their psychedelic desert synths. Infrapa will breath new life in his twisted kalindula soukous hiphop from Kisangani. Jako Maron from Reunion Island and Afro Rack from Uganda, two of the continents Modular Synth pioneera will also perform live at the festival.

This year Nyege Nyege builds on its growing links with South East Asia bringing DJ and label boss of Chinese label Genome 666, Kilo Vee as well as Chinese Underground producers Hyph11e, Gooooose and 33EMYBW. Japanese alternative hip-hop and break-core artists Dj Scoth Egg and DJ Die Soon and very hopefully a big surprise from Indonesia.This year Nyege Nyege continues to build on Afro-diasporan linkages with America and Europe. From America the festival showcases for the first time on the continent the legendary sound of Detroit’s historical techno scene with scene linchpin Juan Atkins African debut. In conversation with fast paced polyrhythmic music from East Africa like electro-Acholi and Singeli is prolific Chicago based Footwork and Juke producer EQ Why’s who takes his first journey outside the USA. He will be accompanied by New York based producer Suzi Analgoue and DJ Shyboi. From Europe, Moesha13, Marseille born with Malian roots, and scene innovator of the cities innovative Frap-Core scene will be joining Congolese Swiss Bonaventure, UK based Josey Rebelle and Belgiums DTM Funk and Zulu Shoko. Also Joining from Europe is Nyege Nyege resident DJ Marcelle , UK cult star Elvin Brandy and London bad boy weirdo Lord Tusk. This year will also feature a showcase from the Milan based Saturnalia Collective, highlighting the growing linkages between the Milan based Experimental music festival where Nyege Nyege Artists who have performed for the past two years.

The extensive line up will feature some of the continent’s most cutting edge musicians, DJs and producers, including artists under Nyege Nyege Tapes & Hakuna Kulala, the festival’s critically acclaimed associated labels. The Kampala based arts incubator has been actively working to develop the Regional music scene holding workshops, residencies, and supporting two community studios. Artists from the growing roster embarked on a Four Month Summer tour that includes Kenyan producer Slikback, Otim Alpha & Leo Palayeng, Singeli Artists Bamba Pana and Makavelli, MCZO & Duke, Jay Mitta, as well as Nihiloxica, DJ Kampire, Catudiosis, DJ Po, Hibotep, Decay and Authentically Plastic, as well as an African premier for Jako Maron recently returning from his performance at Venice Biennale. This year the festival will also highlight the burgeoning Metal scene in East Africa with Kenyans band Seeds of Datura and Kenyan Grindcore project DUMMA. Also Debuting at the festival this year is Afro- Rack, the Uganda sound engineer Bamanya Brian who has constructed from scratch his own modular synth.

This year the festival again partners with Boiler Room to stream dj sets from East African producers and DJ’s across the world.

Many of the international acts will be in Kampala for a month ahead of the festival to collaborate with Ugandan musicians and prepare special performances at this year’s edition. These include

Bonaventure Mbote, Dj Scotch Egg & Dj Die Soon, Portuguese percussionist Joao Pais Filipe, Chicago based Footwork producer EQ Why, Malian producer Dj Diaki, South African GQOM pioneers Phelimuncasi and Marseilles based producer and rapper Moesha13 .

The2019editiononce againplacesspecialemphasisontherichdiversityofEastAfricantraditionalmusic, with 15 different traditional troupes from all corners of the region performing, including a 40 piece Agwara troupe from the West Nile region of Uganda and a Congolese Amadinda troupe that plays a 14 foot long xylophone.

The 2018 edition saw over 300 local and international artists take to the stage in front of 8000 festival-goers. In previous years the festival has served as the East African debut for Batida pioneer DJ Marfox, the satirical Ghanaian rappers FOKN Bois, Niger-based synth pioneer Mamman Sani, South African arists like Sho Madjozi, Rude Boys and Dominowe, Burkinabe rapper Joey Le Soldat, Senegalese electronic producer Ibaaku, Tuareg rock group Etran de L’Air, J-Lin and European acts like Errorsmith, Jasss, Giant Swan, Tomoko Sauvage, Rian Treanor and Modern Institute.

Die Hard tickets are available online www.nyegenyege.com/tickets/ from Saturday July 15th 2019.

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