Afro Beat Fest, New Jersey’s largest celebration of African culture, returns to Newark this weekend

After a four-year hiatus prompted by the pandemic, Afro Beat Fest is returning to Newark with a celebration like never before, according to a recent announcement from Newark Happening. On Saturday, the Brick City will come alive with the largest celebration of African culture in New Jersey. This free event — proudly sponsored by Newark Parks and Newark Happening — aims to bridge the gap between New Jersey and Africa.

“Afro Beat Fest has become a beloved and iconic event in our city and state, embodying the vibrant culture and showcasing the immense talent within our community,” Linda Baraka, the first lady of Newark, said. “Beyond the celebration of the rich heritage, this festival fosters unity and nurtures a deep appreciation for the arts. I invite residents and visitors alike to join us in Military Park for a family-friendly day filled with music, captivating art and engaging activities.”

Attendees will enjoy a day filled with performances by Afrobeat artists, visual art installations, engaging activities, tasty traditional African food from local vendors and a bustling marketplace featuring Black-owned businesses.

Some of the biggest names in the industry will be taking the stage, including King Promise, an award-winning Ghanaian artist known for his soulful melodies and infectious beats, and Bad Boy Timz, a rising star from Nigeria who has taken the music industry by storm. DJ Juls, considered one of the pioneering producers of African music in the diaspora, will keep the energy high throughout the day with his Afrobeat mixes. To further captivate the audience through rhythm and dance, local performers will also take the stage, including Zawadi African Dance and the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

In addition to the performances, Afro Beat Fest will feature live art installations by Yendor Arts that showcase Newark artists’ thought-provoking talent and artistic vision. Attendees can look forward to admiring the artistry of Mohammed Awudu, a four-time award-winning visual contemporary artist from Ghana. Awudu is known for his ability to capture the true essence of African culture in his creations, which have been showcased around the world.

Afro Beat Fest will offer a dedicated children’s village, where little ones and their families can engage in interactive activities and games. Festivalgoers can support Black-owned businesses such as Ane Clothier and Kwabs Couture through pop-up shops showcasing unique products and services. A variety of vendors will offer tasty food and beverages, including refreshing ice cream from Salaam Ice Cream Parlor as well as plates that perfectly capture the flavors of Africa.

“We are proud to sponsor Afro Beat Fest, an incredible event that brings the spirit of African culture to the heart of our city. Newark Happening is committed to supporting events that promote cultural understanding and unity, and Afro Beat Fest exemplifies these values,” Ricardo Salazar, CEO and president of Newark Happening, said.

For more information about Afro Beat Fest, including performance schedules, activity times, tickets and vendor registration, please visit the official website. Stay updated on the latest news and announcements by following @Newark_Social on social media.