Updated: Nov 6, 2018
Musical Concerts, properties and festivals are fast developing in to a multi-million Naira industry in Nigeria, with the potential to grow even bigger. The growing vibrancy and influence of Nigeria's Afrobeats genre of world music is creating a wave of efforts to build lasting live music event properties. We take a look at six of such musical properties.
The live music concert and festival scene is growing rapidly and despite the economic slow down, the young demographic within Nigeria continues to demand quality entertainment. While several smaller, and particularly single artiste own shows and concerts have now become staples of the entertainment calendar, a select few have become established multiple artiste platforms with resounding success for the promoters as well as the brands and vendors that support them. Here are our our Top Six in no particular order.
“For all lovers of Afrobeat, and its recent descendant Afrobeats, the annual birthday celebration of the legendary Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti, tagged Felabration, has now become an established musical pilgrimage to celebrate the legacy of the late musical icon and the musical genre he founded.”
Lagos International Jazz Festival
The Lagos International Jazz Festival (LIJF), also known as Lagos Jazz Fest, and not to be confused with the Lagos Jazz Series, is an annual celebration of the music and culture that takes place in Lagos. Held since 2008, the Lagos International Jazz Festival is a three-day event founded by Ayo Sadare CEO of Inspiro Productions. The 2016 festival was split between a two-day standard edition held at Freedom Park and a one-day luxury edition happening at The Bay Lounge Waterfront, Lekki with both events commencing at 6pm. Musicians featured at the festival (either as guests or performers) include Asa, Courtney Pine, Freshly Ground, Beat Kaestli and Grammy Award winning artistes such as Lekan Babalola and Jermaine Jackson among others. The 2017 Jazz festival incorporated in its programme Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) and International Jazz Day, while the 2019 edition is planned to focus on how Jazz can help confront the hazards of illegal youth migration, and help re-affirm the promise of Africa's youth on the continent.
Afropolitan Vibes is a live music concert series & annual music festival in Lagos, Nigeria. The show was created by Ade Bantu and Abby Ogunsanya in 2013 as a platform to showcase alternative music. Every edition features three or four contemporary singer/songwriters, vocalists or musicians who perform mostly original works that are firmly rooted in African musical origins of Afrobeat, Afrofunk, Afro-hiphop, Afro-pop, and Highlife. All acts perform with the 13 piece Bantu collective. No miming is allowed at the shows. From 2013 to 2017 Afropolitan Vibes had a monthly residency at the now popular art and creative space Freedom Park, a former British Colonial Prison on Lagos Island. In May 2017 the producers of the show announced a change of venue to Muri Okunola Park in Lagos and that the concert series would now hold every third Friday of each quarter. Afropolitan's appeal to the swanky Lagos professional class sets it apart as a quality property redefining the city's cosmopolitan image.
AY Live, touts itself as the Always-Sold-Out Comedy and Music concerts in Nigeria. Powered by Corporate World Entertainment and which has held every Easter Sunday since 2010. The platform has grown into a successful franchise which is now staged across major cities in Nigeria as well as London. The show which is primarily a stand up comedy show with a rich musical component is the outcome of a successful collaboration between two brothers; Ayo and Lanre Makun. The franchise has also grown to showcase the widest array of A list comedians in Nigeria.
When it debuted in December 2006, Experience Lagos was mostly thought of as an over excited gathering of Christians who would soon loose their spark. Although 70,000 people gathered to praise that year, it was hardly impressed in their hearts that it would metamorphose into something bigger in the coming years. It has now grown to be hyped as one of the world's biggest gospel concerts, attracting in venue audiences of upwards of 350,000 people and multiple top A list gospel singers from around the world. It is the brain child and creation of the urbane and suave Pastor Adefarasin and his church, House On The Rock. The reach of The Experience is quite unprecedented. With its track record of maxing out its current venue, the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. It also has a very impressive live-streaming component to several thousands of audiences across the world.
For all lovers of Afrobeat, and its recent descendant Afrobeats, the annual birthday celebration of the legendary Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti, tagged Felabration, has now become an established musical pilgrimage to celebrate the legacy of the late musical icon and the musical genre he founded. The week long event is staged at the New Africa Shrine, seen as the 'spiritual source' of Afrobeat under the guardianship of Fela's son, Femi Kuti, his sister, Yeni and other members of the Kuti clan. The celebrations have been extended to incorporate other forms of artistic and intellectual expression. It now attracts all major and up coming afrobeat artistes and bands from the world over, as well as all major A list afrobeats artistes who see Fela's music as their inspiration. Felabration is now also celebrated in several other major cities across the world such as London, Houston, Manchester and NewYork.
Calabar Carnival Festival Nigeria, also tagged " Africa's Biggest Street Party", was created as part of the vision of making the Cross River State Nigeria, the number one tourist destination for Nigerians and tourists all over the world. The carnival which begins every 1st December and lasts until 31st December has boosted the cultural mosaic of Nigeria's people while entertaining millions of spectators within and outside the State, and boosting industry for all. The carnival started in 2004, when the then governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, had a vision of making the state a hub for tourism and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa. Over the course of it's existence, the carnival has earned an enviable place within the annual entertainment and tourism calendar with attendance from top Nigerian musicians, Nollywood Actors, Politicians and international artists.