Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Amarachi Nwosu
Inside Gidi Culture Fest: Nigeria's Annual Music And Arts Beach Festival Celebration
Written by: Amarachi Nwosu
There is a uniquely creative and cultural renaissance that is taking place across the continent of Africa and now more than ever, due to social media and access to information, people within the diaspora have the ability to engage directly and see it for themselves.
One of the biggest creative exports within West Africa specifically has been music genres like Afrobeats and Afro Fusion which has opened doors for African artists to take on major festival stages around the world and push the sound globally.
While international festivals have been able to expose more people to African music within the diaspora, not many are aware of festivals within Africa like Nigeria’s Gidi Culture Festival which is championing the diversity of the continent across borders and celebrating the progression of youth culture that is expressed through music, food, art, and games.
More than just a festival, Gidi Fest operates as a cultural movement that has been dubbed as Africa’s answer to Coachella. Taking place on the beachfront in Victoria Island, Lagos, Gidi Fest has hosted established acts like Wizkid, Davido, Diplo, Maleek Berry, and Burna boy while also providing a platform for the most exciting next-gen artists.
This year’s 6th installment had performances from acts Like Niniola, Patoranking, Teni The Entertainer, Nonso Amadi, and other African superstars like Moonchild Sanelly of South Africa and Joey B of Ghana. The merger of cultures reinforced the diversity of African music and showed the power of Africans coming together.
One of the greatest goals of the festival is to create a safe space and community for both young people in Nigeria and visitors who are coming from places like the U.K., America and East Africa to be part of the Gidi Tribe.
In many ways, the Gidi Tribe represents “the new African generation” that refuses to be defeated or defined by their circumstances and instead are empowering themselves by coming together to push boundaries and rewrite negative narratives that have often plagued places like Nigeria.
The festival not only organizes the main day music event for travelers and locals to experience, but they also curate special activities as a way for visitors to discover other parts of Lagos like its beautiful beaches, markets, and restaurants to get a clearer idea of the energy in Africa’s most populated city.
In many ways Gidi Culture Fest is the start of a much bigger movement of young people taking the future into their own hands, build bridges as a way to further expand the image of Africa, connect people beyond identity, and show how the diaspora engages with the continent.