Alliance Française opened their week-long music festival Fête de la Musique on Sunday June 18th at QuePasa in Kampala, drawing a large and lively crowd.
The line-up of artists included lesser known but highly talented Uganda singers, poets and instrumentalists including Body of Brian, Wake the Poet, Apio Moro and Cyno MC.
By the second set, the audience was singing and dancing along and the festival was trending number one on Twitter in Uganda with their hashtag #FDLMUg.
By mid-way through the show, the audience was pouring out of QuePasa into the Kisementi parking lot, with more still arriving.
Alliance Française has been quiet this past year, though it is known for its history of sponsoring events that support Ugandan artistes like Maurice Kirya when he was just getting started with his Maurice Kirya Experience.
Clearly they still have a knack for finding and exposing great talent, and are now reinvigorating their presence on Kampala’s music and entertainment scene with five musical events this week.
Fête de la Musique will continue Monday June 19th at the National Theatre at 5pm, in what may be one of the last performances at the Uganda Culture Centre before it is set to be demolished for reconstruction.
On Wednesday, Alliance Française will host French artist Laurent Assoulen at Sheraton Hotel for “Sentir” Perfume Concert, mixing jazz with Parisian perfume (this is the only even that is not free, with tickets selling for Shs40,000).
On Thursday at 7pm, Alliance Française will host a Hiphop night at their building on Bukoto Street in the Kampala suburb of Kamwokya.
The main and final free concert will be held on Saturday June 24th at École Française on Lugogo Bypass from 7pm, and will feature a great line up of Ugandan artistes, with Navio closing down the Fête at midnight.
Fête de la Musique is a French annual festival that was launched in 1982 and is now celebrated annually around the world.
It is organised around World Music Day – June 21st – to celebrate music from all cultures.
Uganda has celebrated World Music Day for many years, but this is the first week-long festival hosted by Alliance Française Kampala.
It comes as the organization’s new Director Elisabeth Shimells plans to invest more heavily in Ugandan talent.
Alliance Française also offers French courses at its Kampala school, encouraging Ugandans to learn the language in order to access more career opportunities around the world, especially in creative fields.