REVIEW: Africa Oye at The Picket 23/06/12

The number twenty is a special one in terms of sheer years and when rain forced the organisers of Africa Oye to cancel the usually Sefton Park based festival swift action was taken to relocate it to another location. This new venue was The Picket with further activity in The Blade Factory, part of the shiny new Camp and Furnace venue on Greenland Street. Sebastiab Gahan reports..

When we arrived at the new venue the familiar smells of the festival were already present with barbecue smoke and spice filling the normally traffic scented air. The throngs of people outside the Picket were enjoying food, conversation, cigarettes of various varieties and the music echoing from inside the well frequented venue. Indeed whilst comments both positive and negative were flying back and forth on a very long thread on Facebook the real adventures were to be had pushing through the crowd to the stage as Saturday’s bands performed their sets with as much energy as they would were they at Sefton Park inciting the masses to dance.

There was an atmosphere only slightly less euphoric than usual and although it was a truncated day, beginning at five pm – rather than just after lunchtime on the hoped for sunny day – it was truly an exciting event. The eclectic selection of craft and food stalls were spread over the exterior of the Picket and The Blade Factory with the Africa Oye DJ’s spinning there grooves there also. Musically there was much to offer with The Endless Journey and Jaliba Kuyateh amongst others impressing as they kept the happy Africa Oye vibes flowing round The Picket readily as the usual mixed crowds dance, drank and snapped away with their cameras. The rain returned later in the evening but did little to dampen the spirits of those who had come down for the party.

The biggest thanks must go to the Africa Oye team though for finding the new venue and making new arrangements so promptly. Let’s hope that next year the sun will shine and the heavens remain closed for 2013’s Africa Oye!


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