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Afro Nation Ghana plans training scheme for locals

Leading Afrobeats festival Afro Nation is launching a training programme for local crew ahead of its return to Ghana later this year.

The follow-up to its 2019 debut, Afro Nation Ghana is set for 29-30 December at Marine Drive, Black Star Square, with line-up details to be confirmed soon. The festival site is located next to the spot where Ghana’s independence was declared by the first president Kwame Nkrumah, next to the Osu Castle.

The brand’s Portuguese edition took place on the Algarve coast from 6-8 July, drawing more than 35,000 fans from 134 countries over three days for headliners Wizkid, Burna Boy and Davido. In what promises to be a significant breakthrough for the Ghanaian scene, its main stage has now been acquired by Afro Nation Ghana and is being transported to Africa for the December spin-off.

“We started Afro Nation to give a global platform to the artists that we love,” say organisers. “To round off what has been an incredible year, in collaboration with the Ghanaian government and our festival partners in Ghana, Benjamin Ntim and Kojo Annan of Event Blackstar Limited, we have purchased the main stage used at Afro Nation Portugal 2022 and it is currently being shipped to Accra for Afro Nation Ghana 2022.

“A stage of this quality doesn’t exist anywhere else in West Africa, and serves as a vital building block for the live industry on the continent. Afro Nation’s aim has always been to elevate the scene and artists from or inspired by the modern sounds of Africa, and by establishing this stage in Ghana and bringing the exact same high production value from Portugal to West Africa, is just one step towards a bright new future of live events in the region.”

“By 2025, this world-class festival stage will be fully operated by the West African team, without any assistance from the UK”

As with Afro Nation Portugal, which launched in 2019, and Afro Nation Puerto Rico, which was held in April this year, Afro Nation Ghana will work alongside and train local teams to produce the show and bring business to as many local vendors as possible.

“We have initiated a training programme, where a full stage crew will travel from Europe to Ghana with us and train a local crew on how to build and run the stage. By 2025, this world-class festival stage will be fully operated by the West African team, without any assistance from the UK.

“We will continue to support our culture and look forward to seeing many global artists perform on this stage in the near future across the continent.”

The inaugural Afro Nation Ghana was held in Accra over four days in December 2019, featuring acts including Burna Boy, Wizkid, Yxng Bane and Naira Marley.

A Mexican edition of Afro Nation had also been planned for Baja California in September 2020, before the pandemic intervened.

 


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Live Nation inks JV with Duke Concept

Live Nation has launched a joint venture with Duke Concept to co-promote African artists in the US.

Duke Concept CEO Osita “Duke” Ugeh has worked with Live Nation since 2018 and previously collaborated with the company on two Burna Boy tours, reports Billboard.

Burna Boy, who has played a number of arenas in Europe, will become the first Nigerian artist to headline New York’s Madison Square Garden on 28 April.

“Over the past few years working with Duke, our relationship has grown immensely,” says Andy Messersmith, director of touring at Live Nation. “With our combined passion for the music and utilising the assets that both Live Nation and Duke Concept bring to the table, we have been very successful.”

Andy has been a great ambassador of the culture

“It only takes one person to believe, and [Messersmith did],” says Ugeh. “Since then Andy has been a great ambassador of the culture and we have gone on to co-produce very successful tours together.”

Ugeh, who also works with the likes of Nigerian artist Davido, will retain the right to stage events independently as part of the deal, and is planning five Afrobeat tours in the US next year.

“We are getting the right venues and opportunities and that’s thrilling because we’ve spent so much time in the shadows,” he adds.

 


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