Afropunk is an international movement which advocates and celebrates black culture. Afropunk made its debut in Johannesburg over the new year with a two-day music festival headlined by the lead singer of Anderson Paak and The Free Nationals, Anderson .Paak.
Designed to celebrate and enjoy African culture in a creative way, it is the first of its kind in South Africa and was met with excitement and success.
Afropunk aims to define culture by the collective creative actions of the individual and the group. It is also a pertinent issue in South African society, meaning that Afropunk’s has an important place in South Africa.
Afropunk aims to foster this culture and acts as a safe place, a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see fit while making sense of the world around you.
The name of the festival is instrumental in understanding the ideology of the festival. Afro refers to being of African descent, “of African spirit and heritage” and the “other” or “underdog” Punk makes reference to “the rebel, opposing the simple route, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and openness.” – Afropunk organisers
What started off with the disappointment of the news that Solange Knowles would no longer be performing at the two-day festival, ended up being a space that saw people from all walks of life come together to celebrate Africa in all its glory.
The first day of the festival was met with heavy rains and a lot of people still disappointed that Knowles would not be performing, and Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals would also be moved to the Sunday performance which dismayed more patrons who only bought a one day pass. These issues were all resolved effortlessly and didn’t hinder the experience for the festival goers.
Unlike other music festival that involve a 3 day camping experience, Afropunk does not offer camping facilities. Festival goers leave the festival and return the next day. Sans camping, Afropunk was a burst of energy, colour, prints and black magic on every person in attendance.
Saturday’s wet and stormy weather didn’t deter festival goers who chose to ignore the thick mud, get straight to the dance floor and dance the night away.
Key performers came from The Brother Moves On, Urban Village, King Tha vs BLK JKS and of course Anderson .Paak who wowed the audience with his multitasking abilities.
The festival was a mixture of a market, food stalls, installations and creatives coming together in a space that allowed them be themselves and of course show off their outfits!