Who we are - What we do
Afro_Vibes is an annual festival of contemporary theater, dance, music and design from Africa. The festival brings emerging and established contemporary African makers and artists to The Netherlands. The festival shows the dynamic cultural life of urban Africa and connects this with Dutch artists and audiences. The festival creates the opportunity for an extensive artistic exchange between makers and artists from the Netherlands and the African continent. The festival has its home base in Amsterdam.
Afro_Vibes not only brings contemporary performing arts and design from Africa but also the whole atmosphere around the performances and the context in which they have been made. The audience is actively engaged by bringing artists and the audience into contact with each other through an extensive fringe programme that contextualize the performances.
The Afro_Vibes festival was founded in 1999 by initiator Vuyo Raymond Matinyana (1969 - 2001). Raymond was a South African artist and singer who moved to The Netherlands and settled in Amsterdam. He founded the Afrovibes Band, which gave the festival its name. In addition to his career as a singer, Raymond also acted as a drag artist as Miss Thandi in both The Netherlands and South Africa.
Raymond wanted to connect South Africa with the Netherlands and it is from this wish that he realized the Afro_Vibes Festival in 1999. The first edition was on 16 June 1999 in De Rode Hoed in Amsterdam with, among others, a performance by his own Afrovibes Band. Afro_Vibes has since grown from a one-day event to a 10-day festival that takes place every year in several cities in the Netherlands.