Tourism and Events Information for Victoria’s tourism industry

Live music festival celebrates African cultures in Abbotsford

Published: 10 January 2024

Abbotsford Convent was buzzing on 9 December as Yo-CiTY Connect AFRO - FUTURE brought African Australian music to inner-city Melbourne.

The event was hosted by Yo CiTY Connect, Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV), City of Yarra and Abbotsford Convent. It showcased African cultures, music, food, literature, art and dance.

Despite some rain, a crowd of around 500 attendees enjoyed the electrifying Afro bands and DJs who entertained all afternoon.

These performances brought to life the rich and diverse rhythms of music from African communities.

Three people playing African drums on a stage with microphones.

Credit: Wildhardt

Leading artists from many African cultures immersed visitors into the beauty of their design and production through high quality goods and experiences.

Afro-literature sessions brought together a line-up of authors and spoken word artists from Maxine Beneba-Clarke to Sisonke Msimang.

Attendees also had the opportunity to savour a variety of African cuisines.

Two people sitting down in front of audience and table with books, one with a microphone in hand.

Credit: Multicultural Arts Victoria

‘AFRO - FUTURE was more than an event, it was a proud celebration of excellence, a platform for cross-cultural learning, and a demonstration of community strength and unity,’ said MAV acting CEO Lauren Mullings.

‘This project responds to Greater Melbourne's diversity as a source of great innovation.

‘By creating an event curated and organised by African creatives and their respective communities, AFRO - FUTURE provided professional spaces, resources and networks for creativity to thrive.

‘The event was a meaningful investment that placed cultural diversity at the forefront of creative and business innovation,’ Lauren said.

Event organisers said the day was a remarkable success and hope to see it become an annual fixture.

MAV and Yo-CiTY Connect are among 120 event organisers who shared in almost $3 million Small and Medium Events Program funding to deliver events in the second half of 2023.

The event was supported with a $50,000 investment from the Small and Medium Events Program.

Page last updated: 10 Jan 2024
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