One of the festive season’s most anticipated events on the African continent is the Jameson Vic Falls Carnival. Set in the heart of the National Heritage Park in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the three-day event featuring musicians from Southern Africa kicks off today and runs until December 31.
Now in its third year, the first formal music festival, Falls Fest, was launched in 2009 and continued until 2011. In 2012 Sean Young and Blessing Munyenyiwa founded the Vic Falls Carnival.
Seed Experience’s marketing manager (Vic Falls Carnival’s organisers), Charlotte Kanter says The Jameson Vic Falls Carnival was created out of the need for a New Year’s celebration at this popular tourist destination.
“Locals living in the area saw the need and want for one festival to unite locals and tourists who were based in this beautiful venue over New Years,” Kanter tells the Mail & Guardian. She says a large number of attendees of the carnival are Zimbabwe locals.
The Vic Falls adventure includes a ride on a steam train to an undisclosed bush venue for a five-hour party (December 29), a colour party and after parties at three different venues (December 30).
The performing music acts were selected to cater for the new and old generation. Last year’s line-up included rock band Just Jinger, Flash Republic, Chikwata 263 and Ryan Dent among others. This time around, attendees can expect to be entertained by veterans and breakout artists from the African soil. The line-up includes Goldfish Live, Beatenberg, Eleftherios Mukuka and Winky D.
Judgement Yard, from Zimbabwe, DJ Francis and Jason Le Roux are returning to the carnival after performing at the 2013 Vic Falls carnival, while CU_Rage, a young DJing crew from Namibia, makes its debut this year. Legendary Zimbabwean musician, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, will also take to the stage.
“Each year we work hard to curate a list of musicians from Africa that will appeal to our audience. We look for acts who will bring variety to our festival and we choose acts from different genres and generations as we want to give our attendees new acts to fall in love with. Of course at the event we have local and international media and attendees who spread the word of these musicians.”
The festival is not just about the music but also about exploring the gems found in Zimbabwe. Kanter refers to the Vic Falls “as an adrenaline junkie’s paradise”. The activities on offer include white water rafting, bungee jumping and elephant back safari.
The festival ends with a New Year’s Eve party in Victoria Falls, with South African electronic duo Goldfish Live ushering the audiences into 2015 on the decks.
“Last year’s countdown was definitely unforgettable. Thousands of attendees from all over the globe coming together under the African skies was just pure bliss. All the organisers and musicians got up on stage and hugged and brought in the New Year with a huge bang,” Kanter recalls.
“We hope that people enjoy this year as much as they have the last couple [and] in five years’ time we hope that people are still describing it as one of the best events they’ve ever attended.”
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