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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue Date:- 23 June 2008

Africa Oye 2008

AFRICA Oye, held in Liverpool’s Sefton Park , on Saturday and Sunday, 21 June and 22 June 2008, was a fantastic experience to attend. On Saturday, the rather miserable weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the crowd. Although attendance was sparser than in previous years, according to fellow attendees, the audience was enthusiastic and good humoured. The atmosphere was really friendly and people happily chatted to strangers. The whole scene was reminiscent of a village fete, on a good day. Merseysiders mingled with folk from around Britain and much further a field: This was multiculturalism at its best! Some people had brought picnics and spread out on the grass, some nestled cosily in mini-tents whilst others stoically ignored the inclement weather as they gathered around the stage. Here, the bands which played at this, one of the biggest free festivals of African music, were exciting to watch and inspiring to listen to. They soon had listeners dancing and swaying to their rhythms.

Around the perimeter of the event field were stalls selling many interesting items, including multi-coloured garments and jewellery, exquisitely carved ornaments, cosmetics, and musical instruments. Face painters and hand painters showed off their skills and a Nubian gentleman, representative of one of the world’s oldest cultures, wrote out names and phrases in Arabic. Ours says Happy Days, Coincidentally, words used later by a listener in relation to the concert. Representatives of various companies and charities added to the numbers. All along the aroma of delicious, often exotic, food and drinks pervaded the nostrils and tickled the taste buds of willing participants. From what we saw, the whole event seemed well -organised and relaxed and was thoroughly enjoyable. Sefton Park provides a great venue, very spacious and attractive , so there’s no feeling of being hemmed in. There are also other attractions to explore; ideal for families.

Here’s to next year! Despite competition from other events in the area, this one holds its own. It’s definitely one to look out for next year... This year it has served Liverpool, Capital of Culture, proud

Click on to see more photos taken at this event


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