Africa Oyé included in Arts Council England’s national portfolio for 2023-26

Photo: Glyn Akroyd

Africa Oyé is proud to be included in Arts Council England’s national portfolio of funded organisations for 2023-26.

The UK’s biggest celebration of the music and culture of Africa and the Diaspora has been chosen to be a part of the £43.5 million national investment in Levelling up, as Arts Council England (ACE) backs art, culture, and creativity for more people in more places, across the country.

The Africa Oyé Festival takes place annually in Liverpool’s Sefton Park, showcasing international artists, DJs, workshops, traders and more across two days of celebration. The festival is free and unticketed, a status that this newly announced funding will help keep in place for years to come.

As well as the festival, Africa Oyé also programmes concerts and events throughout the year across Merseyside as well as producing digital content and holding workshops throughout local schools and for community groups. 

In total, 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million (each year) ensuring that more people in more places can find fantastic, fulfilling art and culture on their doorsteps.

With this Portfolio, ACE has focused on investing to make certain that as many people as possible in England – no matter where they come from or what their circumstances – can get hold of the very best of art and culture on their high streets and in the community spaces of their villages, towns and cities.

Photo: Glyn Akroyd

As well as renewing support for established organisations that have done so much to build England’s reputation as one of the most creative countries in the world, of which Oyé is proud to be included, ACE are investing in 276 new organisations of all shapes and sizes.  As well as reaching new audiences, they will also find, and nurture the next generation of cultural and artistic talent, increasing opportunity for people of all communities and backgrounds.

Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country.  We are facing economic pressures at present but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists.”

Africa Oyé’s Chair, Sonia Bassey, said:We’d like to extend our appreciation to Arts Council England for including is in their portfolio for 2023-26 and recognising the value and importance of Black infrastructure organisations and their contributions.  This funding will go a long way to the festival remaining free and open to all as well as helping us extend our reach so that more and more people can learn and experience the music and culture of Africa and the wider Diaspora.”
Africa Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney, said“Arts Council England have been a supporter of Africa Oyé for many years now, and we’re delighted that they continue to see the value in not only the festival, but our year-round programme of arts and education – our team is thrilled and we can’t wait to start planning our activity now we know that this vital funding is in place.”