• RiddimStyle Staff Writer

Africa Oyé: "We need the people's help to keep our festival free"

The organisers of Liverpool's Africa Oyé have called upon local investors and the people of Liverpool to help keep the festival free.

The event has been free entry since the first ever edition in 1992 when it began as a series of shows across city centre venues in Liverpool.

It has since showcased the finest in African and Caribbean music in Concert Square, Princes Park and even across the water in Birkenhead, before it made Sefton Park its home in 2005, where it has since taken place annually every June.

Recent years have seen the popularity of the festival soar, attracting a footfall of 80,000 people in its record breaking year in 2017.

The infrastructure costs that come with the increased audience numbers - added security, medical staff, and toilets to name just a few - have been a constant challenge year on year.

"It's something we've said many times before but it still rings true; Oyé is a victim of its own success. Our audience went up by thousands over a relatively short period of time. We're grateful for the support we receive from Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council, but unfortunately due to rising costs, we need more support to keep the festival free." says Oyé's Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney

"We've been able to increase the capacity for trading pitches on the site and expand our merchandise and bar revenue, but it's still incredibly challenging to make up the difference needed with self-generated income as a free festival."