Friday’s headliner 50 Cent – Photo: BEATRIZ MAIO/OPEN MEDIA GROUP
Friday’s headliner 50 Cent – Photo: BEATRIZ MAIO/OPEN MEDIA GROUP

Afro Nation festival brings over 40,000 revellers to Algarve

Since the festival’s launch in 2019, the turnout has doubled

Afro Nation, one of the biggest summer music festivals in the Algarve, attracted over 40,000 revellers from 140 countries to Portimão, between June 28 and 30.

The number of people descending on Praia da Rocha for the third edition of the festival that brought together some of the world’s leading names from the Afrobeats, Hip-Hop, R&B, Dancehall and Afrohouse genres has doubled compared to 2019, the first year of the event.

Afro Nation has expanded across three continents, with organisers recently announcing that the festival is also heading to Nigeria, where many singers and fans come from. Nigerian artists include Burna Boy, Wizkid, Olamide, Wande Coal, Patoranking, Tekno and others.

Afro Nation festival

“With the incredible rise of so many African artists and new popular African music genres exploding globally in recent years, Afro Nation is at the heart of it all and stands as the biggest event to experience the culture and all these artists performing together in a unifying festival celebration,” highlighted organisers of the festival.

Reflecting on this year’s successes, Afro Nation co-founder Adesegun Adeosun Jr, aka SMADE, said the festival brought the organisation “so much joy to see so many people coming together to celebrate our culture with us, in what now feels like our home of Portimão”.

Along these lines, this edition was, for SMADE, “another dream realised”, which means organisers are feeling excited “to see how much the movement will have grown” by the time they return in 2024.

Two different stages were set up, attracting music lovers all day and night, donning colourful clothes and happy smiles as they danced to their favourite artists. The party atmosphere was described by many who attended, and even those witnessing the excitement from outside the festival grounds, as “unforgettable”.

Burna Boy performing in Praia da Rocha on the first day of Afro Nation – Photo: Afro Nation 2023 / Final Version
Burna Boy performing in Praia da Rocha on the first day of Afro Nation – Photo: Afro Nation 2023 / Final Version

As expected, the highlights from each day were the performances of headliners Burna Boy, Wizkid and 50 Cent, artists who never let their fans down. Besides, there were also amazing surprises on the new-look Piano People stage with the performances of DJ Maphorisa, Kamo Mphela and Sha Sha that got everyone moving.

To the Afro Nation organisers, this experience provides “a unique celebration of music, dance, food and culture” that “has quickly gathered global cultural influence”. Furthermore, they believe that the event “unites the diaspora and holds cultural importance for a hugely underserved audience”.

“The love and unity shared by all is what makes this festival so special to so many and what drives us to create the best experiences we can for our people,” said Afro Nation co-founder, thanking everyone who shared these moments with them as well as hoping to welcome everyone back next summer.

Not only was the event a success for organisers and festival-goers, it also brought a welcome boost to local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants and maritime and tourism companies, confirmed Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes to Portugal Resident.

Afro Nation festival

Rolling Loud is here!

The party mood is set to continue, with the town hosting Rolling Loud, described by organisers as “the biggest hip-hop festival in the world”, from July 5 to 7. The music festival has been held since 2015 in Asia, America and Australia, having come to Europe for the first-time in July last year.

With both Afro Nation and Rolling Loud sharing the same organisers, it “made sense”, logistically, to choose Praia da Rocha for the three-day festival, which promises “great music” from the over 60 artists and headliners Travis Scott, Playboi Carti and Meek Mill.

The first edition of the North American festival in Portugal was due to take place in 2020 but had to be rescheduled because of Covid-19. After two years, the long-awaited event finally took place and, this year, festival-goers can expect to see popular rappers Tay Money and Xavier Wulf on stage, as well as many others (see the full programme on the event’s website).

Portuguese bands such as the Wet Bed Gang and rapper and hip-hop artist ProfJam will also be performing at this year’s Rolling Loud, an event that offers much more than “loud” music; party-goers will no doubt be making the most of the warm evenings, with the ocean, just a few steps away, as the perfect backdrop.

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