Shoko Festival returns this September to kick off summer with a bang. This popular festival is a unique blend of powerful spoken word, poetry, hip-hop, comedy and music that has fast gained a reputation for being one of Zimbabwe’s best festivals. Since its inception in 2011, the popular Shoko Festival has been building steam, getting better and better every year.
The 2014 edition will run from 25 to 28 September under the theme, “Re-Inspire, Re-Imagine”. With a fresh line-up and a new, bigger venue, the festival is aiming to draw in new audiences.
Shoko Festival Director Samm Monro says, “This year the Festival asks the public to rethink creatively, to look at the way we see ourselves, the country and the future, to breathe life into our world, to ‘Re-Inspire, to Re-Imagine’. Expect a transformed festival site including funky installations that will range from wild to wilder, an up-cycling contest between local designers and engineers, a fun day for the young and families: new elements added to our tried and tested formula.”
The festival started off at the Alliance Française venue in 2011 and ran at the venue for its first two years. Waterwhirld was chosen to cope with bigger audiences in 2013. This year’s Shoko Festival will be in the heart of the city at new venue Alex Sports Club, straddling the Avenues area and Milton Park.
As usual, a stellar line-up of artists are set to perform, featuring a dynamic mix of local and international artists at the top of their game. These include, critically acclaimed World music talent Nneka (Germany/Nigeria), standup comedians Loyiso Gola and Chester Missing (South Africa), Spoken word luminary Buddy Wakefield (USA), hip-hop artists Fallacy, Rodney P and the Layabouts (United Kingdom) alongside local artists who have risen to national acclaim such as rapper Tehn Diamond, mbira divas Ammara Brown and Hope Masike, DJ Jason LeRoux, Bulawayo tribal house collective The Djembe Monks, ‘Prince of Faya’, reigning dancehall phenomenon Dhadza D, and popular musician Ba Shupi.
There will be something for everyone at Shoko 2014, including a new focus to include kids, and the ‘Peace in the Hood’ concert – a day of free performances in Chitungwiza on Sunday 28 September. As always, there will be skills development and networking opportunities for journalists, technologists, and activists at the HUB UnConferences, where participants can catch talks and workshops on alternative media, technology, freedom of expression and citizen journalism.
Tickets are very affordable, with several free options, all the way up to $30 for an all-inclusive 4-day pass. Shoko 2014 is the perfect way to celebrate being outdoors again after the long winter chill. Check out the festival website www.shokofestival.com for details on how and where to purchase tickets.