Afrovibes set for Birmingham venues

Third staging of festival sees arts centre highlights.

On the twentieth anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Afrovibes Festival returns to Birmingham. The biennial festival, which celebrates the performing and visual arts of South Africa, made its UK debut in 2010, and is poised to return for a third, highly entertaining and thought-provoking four week season from Monday 13th October until Saturday 8th November 2014. This year sees Birmingham hosting events and performances at The Drum and mac from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th October.

Featuring an eclectic, contemporary programme of theatre, dance, music, song, photography and film, the fifty-strong festival ensemble will consist of individual theatre and dance companies from all over South Africa with actors, dancers, directors, playwrights, choreographers, musicians, singers … and one photographer.

The Drum and mac will host a full week of performances and events, giving audiences a unique opportunity to enjoy a diverse programme of quality work including political drama, astonishing real life stories, stunning contemporary dance, great music, film and photography.

In addition, both venues will host a Township Cafe where visitors can enjoy typical South African food and drink while taking in music, poetry, talks and free pop-up performances by local artists as well as Afrovibes performers.

Mukhtar Dar, Director of Arts & Marketing at The Drum, said: “Birmingham has a long and endearing associated with South Africa, which is reflected in the extensive links amongst our artists, musicians and activists and more recently the Drum’s Nelson Mandela tribute was attended by 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 and especially to be working in partnership with mac Birmingham, building in past success to deliver a truly unique cultural experience across both venues.”

Louisa Davies, Performing Arts Producer at mac added: “Audiences across both our venues will have a great opportunity to enjoy a slice of contemporary theatre, music and dance, with performances that echo the energy and positivity of the new South Africa, informed by past struggles. Afrovibes promises to offer an exciting eclectic mix of events that will engage and amaze in equal measure. We look forward to sharing the programme with audiences across the West Midlands this autumn alongside The Drum.”

Artistic Director James Ngcobo, who is also Artistic Director of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg says: “In 1994 a new nation was born. Since then our artists have been showing the world that South Africa has stories to tell: stories that speak to the collective memory of who we are. Yet at the same time they speak of life in South Africa today – stories that link us with the world.”

Afrovibes Producer and UK Arts International Director Jan Ryan says: “2014 is an important year for South Africa, marking as it does the 20th anniversary of the country’s first democratic elections. We are absolutely delighted that Afrovibes will once again be coming to the UK to commemorate this event.”

For more information on Afrovibes at The Drum, call our Box Office on 0121 333 2444, or visit, Like on facebook at Afrovibes and follow on Twitter @Afrovibes with #afrovibes