Carnival comes to city

L'Afrique a Newcastle

L'Afrique a Newcastle

Africa took over the streets of NewcastleGateshead on Saturday with an all day carnival at Grey's Monument.

The carnival, part of the L'Afrique a Newcastle festival, added a splash of colour and vibrancy to the normal hustle and bustle, with performances from African artists based in the North-East and other parts of the UK.

The event was the perfect opportunity for passers-by to enjoy African culture and music.

L'Afrique artistic director Manoute Seri said: "This year, Newcastle Gateshead was the place to be for anyone interested in African music and culture. There is another side to the African continent than the usual famine and war people see on TV."

The festival featured performances from some of the biggest stars in African music including Alpha Blondy and J.B. Mpiana who headlined the free concert. Angelique Kidjo, a household name in Africa, reminded her listeners of the vast cultural wealth and diversity in this wired age, wowing her audience during her performance at The Sage Gateshead, blending sounds of her West African origins with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. The Manchester School of Samba offered a crowd-stopping street set during the carnival parade.

Their cross-cultural drum dance fusion included a 25-strong percussion band, singers, dancers and giant puppets, all ornately decorated in their colourful costumes.

Anthony Watt, 48, who set up the School of Samba, said: "The spirit of Africa was definitely seen on the streets of the North-East."

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