Friday, July 04, 2008

More Africa In Us

Afrofest yesterday. Roger Humbert of The Live Music Report sizes up the ever-increasing crowd.

Thanks for the post title, Eccodek... it's true.

My favourite weekend of the year - Afrofest weekend - started yesterday. As an early celebration, I was very pleased to write about the festival's 20th anniversary for Eye Weekly.

As I've said many times before, Music Africa has overcome many, many struggles to succeed as an arts organization. Other arts groups can learn a lot from their story.

Afrofest is on the short list of things that make Toronto special. You'll never encounter another crowd like this anywhere. What makes this festival different from, say, Harbourfront, is that it's a ground-up festival. I love Harbourfront's programming, but it's well-funded with a lot of human resources and strong links to the biggest media in this town. Afrofest has none of these, and as a result a strong community feeling pervades Queens Park every year; it's a sense that everybody there makes the festival better by their mere presence.

It's the only event I've been to which is equally fun for families, couples and singles. Moreover, I always dug the family vibe long before I had a daughter - kids and adults groove to the same music, and usually the kids set the pace for the whole experience by being the first dancers in front of the stage.

P.S. Best food EVER this year. Srsly. Make sure you wash it down with some fiery ginger juice from Amazones.

Once again, I'm looking forward to helping out with CIUT's broadcast today from 1-7PM. Come by and say hello.

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