Biggest Music Festivals in Africa That You Must Attend

Opulent in culture and with lots of unforgettable experiences to offer, Africa is a beautiful continent that plays host to some of the biggest music festivals. It offers a great chance to learn about emerging talents while also experiencing different cultures, enjoying local food, partying with the locals, and much more. Some festivals open their doors to both international stars and the finest talents across the country.

From Oasis Into The Wild to Ultra South Africa, here are five music festivals in Africa you must attend!

Ultra South Africa

Where: Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
When: March 10 – 11, 2023

Ultra Music Festival is among the most widely known electronic music festivals on the planet. Its South African iteration is a one-day music festival held in two cities – Cape Town and Johannesburg. This year, the festival which draws over 50,000 people, took place in Cape Town and Johannesburg on March 10 and 11, respectively. Australian music producer Fisher, Swedish techno producer/DJ Adam Beyer, Australian DJ/producer Timmy Trumpet, Alesso, and Dutch DJ/producer Oliver Heldens were the headliners at Ultra South Africa.

Danish electronic musician Kölsch, Goldfish, South African singer and producer Zakes Bantwini, and Joris Voorn were on support duties this year at the festival. Joining them were DJ Jamie, DJ/producer DJEFF, South African rapper Focalistic, Musa Keys, Uncle Waffles, and DJ DUO 2wobunnies, among other thrilling acts. Details about Ultra South Africa 2024 are yet to be revealed.

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Rocking the Daisies

Where: Cape Town and Johannesburg (South Africa)
When: October 6 – 8, 2023

Rocking the Daisies, a music festival in South Africa, has drawn more than 20,000 attendees in the past. This festival is held in two locations – Cape Town and Johannesburg, and will take place from October 6 – 8 this year in Cape Town and on October 8 in Johannesburg. Some of the biggest names, including singer-songwriter Kehlani, English electronic group Clean Bandit, rapper and producer Mac Miller, Grammy-winning South African DJ Black Coffee, and British drum & bass band Rudimental, among others, have previously graced the Rocking the Daisies festival stage.

For its 2023 edition, rapper and singer Denzel Curry, British rapper and singer-songwriter Stormzy, Nigerian singer Ayra Starr, British pop band The Vamp, and rapper and singer JID are scheduled to hit the Rocking the Daisies stage in Johannesburg.

The Cape Town edition of Rocking the Daisies will feature Matatiele-born rapper Emtee, singer-songwriter Ami Faku, DJ Tyler ICU, musician Lordkez, and dancer and singer Kamo Mphela, Desmond & The Tutus, Cape Town-born singer-songwriter Will Linley, Berlin-based singer Alice Phoebe Lou, and rapper Focalistic.

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Oasis Into The Wild

Where: Ouarzazate, Morocco
When: October 27 – 29, 2023

Oasis Festival was first held in 2015 in Marrakech and has hosted the likes of Cambridge-born DJ Harvey, Guy Gerber, American DJ/producer Carl Craig, Derrick Carter, and DJ Tennis, among other exciting acts. Revelers at this festival can experience the rich culture of the destination in addition to enjoying mind-boggling music.

Oasis has shared the phase one line-up for Into The Wild, which is scheduled to take place from October 27 – 29 this year at Atlas Studios in Ouarzazate, Morocco. “We’ve put together an all-star cast of international headliners and rising talent who criss-cross genres and styles but promise to keep you bumping on the dance floor all weekend,” Oasis Festival wrote on Instagram.

The outstanding Honey Dijon and German DJ/producer DJ Koze will be headlining the event. The line-up features TSHA, London-based DJ Jyoty, Peruvian DJ Sofia Kourtesid, and Romy, and attendees can enjoy a b2b set from Australian electronic musician Partboi69 and LB aka LABAT. More artists will be announced soon!

Check out the complete phase one line-up below:

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Sauti za Busara

Where: Zanzibar, Tanzania
When: February 9 – 11, 2024

Thousands of partygoers gather at this three-day festival to celebrate vibrant music and the finest talents. The 2024 edition of the festival aims to highlight women artists and rising stars. Sauti za Busara will take place from February 9 – 11 next year. The festival has put out a call for artists for the 21st edition of Sauti za Busara. As per their Instagram post, “Preference is given to:

  • Unique music with cultural identity connected to Africa.
  • Women artists, or groups led by women
  • Young, new and emerging talents
  • Music with positive messages useful for society
  • Music that is performed ‘100% live’!”
    For more information, visit their website: HERE

Attendees will be captivated by the performances by emerging musicians held in the cultural center of Zanzibar at Stone Town. Sauti za Busara attracts about 20,000 people and is among the must-see festivals of this beautiful continent. The festival’s roster includes artists that deliver eclectic performances.

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Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Where: Cape Town, South Africa
When: February 23 – 24, 2024

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival brings some of the biggest jazz artists to deliver memorable performances. More than 40 artists perform across five stages at this major event in South Africa. Since its inception in 2000, this festival has seen 14,000 to 30,000 attendees. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is often held in March, but the organizers postponed the two-day event to February next year.

“Several factors have influenced this difficult decision. These include a series of unavoidable delays and unforeseen challenges, as well as uncertainties around the future of load shedding, all of which have negatively impacted the planning for 2023,” the festival shared on Instagram. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival will be held at Cape Town International Convention Centre on February 23 and 24. This festival has hosted greats like Dave Koz, Lauryn Hill, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter James Ingram.

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