Picking up good vibrations

Funding secured for AfroVibe 2014.

Staff at arts centre the Drum are celebrating after funding for 2014’s AfroVibes Festival has been secured, thanks to approval from Arts Council England and the efforts of UK Arts International.

A festival of contemporary South African visual and performing arts, Afrovibes Festival will tour venues in Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Lancaster, Herefordshire, Berkshire and east London throughout October and November as part of the Strategic Touring programme, and will be coming to Birmingham in association with the Drum.

The festival aims to introduce new audiences to captivating and thought-provoking Music, Dance, Photography, Film and Theatre celebrating the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy, created in artistic collaborations between South African and British artists and programmed by James Ngcobo, Artistic Director of Johannesburg’s Market Theatre

As well as attending performances and exhibitions, audiences will be able to take part in workshops run by artists and dance companies from both the UK and South Africa. These will include Newcastle’s Live Theatre, Birmingham’s mac and Ace Dance, and Durban-based photographer Tyler Dolan.

At the heart of the festival will be the Township Café, where audiences can enjoy South African food, performances and post-show talks, as well as meet and network with the artists.

Working with the host venues and arts organisations from each area, AfroVibes will create a tailor-made fringe festival programme for local audiences to enjoy. 

Jan Ryan, director of UK Arts International and Producer of Afrovibes  said “We are absolutely delighted that AfroVibes will once again be coming the UK. This funding will enable us to bring some of the best contemporary South African performing and visual arts to UK audiences, and provide an opportunity for local artists and audiences to engage in a deeper and more meaningful way.” –

Her thoughts were echoed by the Drum’s Director of Arts & Marketing, Mukhtar Dar, who said, “Birmingham has a long and endearing associated with South Africa reflected in the extensive links amongst our artists, musicians and activists, and most recently the Drum’s Nelson Mandela tribute drew hundreds of people from across Birmingham’s diverse communities. As the UK’s premier intercultural art centre, The Drum is proud to be once again hosting the AfroVibes Festival in Birmingham, we will be building on past success to deliver a truly unique cultural experience.”

For all the latest on AfroVibes 2014, visit  www.the-drum.org.uk for more details, like Facebook at The Drum, Birmingham, or follow  on Twitter@The_Drum.