So, because you’re smart and in the know (or are a regular reader of the London metro) you are probably aware of Asa Baako, the music, culture and dance festival that takes place every year in Ghana – but you don’t know much else…
well, being the nice people we are at Gateway for Africa, we got hold of the Asa Baako festival’s formidable production team to grill them about what’s in store at Asa Baako 2014, and what to expect if you go down. Kofi Debrah, Richard Goddard, DJ Rita Ray, Yemisi Mokuolu and Ebenzer Bentum all took turns answering the questions below not least: What’s the Asa Baako festival all about? And what’s the meaning behind the name?
DMF: What’s the meaning of the name Asa Baako? The name means “One Dance” in Ghana’s Akan language.
DMF: What’s the Asa Baako festival all about?
Asa Baako Team: Asa Baako is about bringing people together from all around the world to celebrate African and African-inspired music and culture. We aim to challenge perceptions of Africa by holding an international festival in one of the region’s most spell binding settings, providing a platform for young artists and showcasing all the incredible things they have to offer.
DMF: What’s your relationship with the village where the festival is held?
Asa Baako: We work extremely closely with the people of Busua to produce this festival, and have made incredible friendships and partnership with the local business owners and residents, who are a core part of making this festival happen, from providing the security, managing the festival market, performing on the stage, providing the catering and volunteering as event management staff. The festival itself was started on the invitation of the local chief, and Asa Baako has now become a key part of Busua’s annual calendar.
DMF: What’s the ratio of international to Ghanaian artists?
Asa Baako Team: 30% international 70% Ghanaian
DMF: What’s going to be the most amazing part of the festival?
Asa Baako Team: It’s the overall vibe and the people who visit over that weekend. The highlights will be the beach, music, jungle party, people, stunning location, hikes to surrounding areas, hearing new music and meeting new people.
DMF: Tell us some of the more amazing things that have happened during the course of putting this festival together
Asa Baako Team: Seeing the efforts and dedication of all the local volunteers who’ve helped to make it happen has been truly humbling. There’s also something quite magical about seeing so many people from vastly different backgrounds all partying together. The jungle parties have also been quite a showstopper – no matter where you’re from, the other-worldy location leaves people pretty speechless.
DMF: Tell us more about the Crowdfunding campaign and what it will enable you to do?
Asa Baako Team: A festival is an amazing platform to create great change from a position of optimism, and we have launched a crowdfunding campaign to gather support to ensure this festival can really achieve its aims of using inspirational African music and culture to empower people. The funds raised will go directly towards building a permanent festival stage, as well as much needed beach maintenance and vital training and equipment for local production staff. We really hope that people will support us and help take Asa Baako to the next level.
DMF: Who’s going to rock the festival this year?
Asa Baako Team: Asa Baako, is a musical odyssey of electrifying local and international live music, dance and performance art. This year, Asa Baako will be featuring a spectacular line up including the notorious FOKN Bois, boundary crossing DJ T-Roy (Broadcite Music) and the illustrious Mag-2 Army Band, with the festival reaching its peak on Saturday night with a stunning International Women’s Day celebration led by Wunmi, the explosive queen of 21st century Afrobeat.
DMF: What has been Asa Baako’s impact on the music and festival scene in Ghana?
It’s early days, we’ve certainly given more exposure to Ghana’s music scene internationally and on a local level we’re helping to groom Ghana’s next generation of superstars.
DMF: How many people does the festival attract?
Asa Baako Team: The festival attracts approximately 2,000 people
The Asa Baako Festival’s crowdfunding campaign ends soon – find out more about it, and the festival at: www.asabaako.com