Alas, Afrovibes Festival has drawn to a close, but thankfully it did so with such a bang that we’re not going to forget about it anytime soon. On Saturday night Contact’s Space 1 audience were entertained for two hours with a melange of musical styles, genres and artists.
The evening organised by BPM the Black Sound Series opened with Sibikwa African Indigenous Orchestra, part of the Afrovibes Festival. This orchestra has a strong focus on traditional instruments, but their sound is definitely not outdated. Their instrument catalogue included xylophones, djembes and other African drums, a Jewish harp, and even antelope horns. The orchestra were engaging, fun and energetic, and as such they gave a memorable performance, preparing the audience for further musical delights.
The evening ably took the audience on a journey from traditional indigenous African music to modern sounds, often inspired by African music with the strong bass and rhythm. Modern Hip Hop, grime and R’n’B were accompanied by the masterful Kaleidoscope Orchestra. The traditional sounds of string and woodwind accompanying new beats and rhythms created a powerful performance which wowed me and all those around me. Music I never expected to find myself tapping my toe to I was full-on dancing to.
The night’s MC, Chunky, kept the evening on track, encouraged the audience to let-loose and was a great representative for the Black Sound Series. Every performer offered something different to those coming before them, meaning that there was something for everyone watching to get involved in and enjoy (if not all of it). After the performances the night continued when Contact Lounge hosted the equally lively after-party where the smiles and the dancing persisted long into the night. The night was an all-round success to a sell-out crowd, bringing a wonderful week of performances at Afrovibes Festival to a deservingly dynamic end.