Amidst the excitement for exploring nature, visiting sites and attractions, and attending family events, one thing remains a leading inspiration for Black travelers: the relaxation and enthusiasm for experiencing a new destination and the avenue to explore the rich Black culture.
Being able to unapologetically celebrate our beautiful culture while surrounded by other beautiful Black beings is an incredible feeling we experience during festivals. And as such, the Black community has brought various reasons and ways to celebrate, such as cuisine, music, language, arts, and achievements, which they have infused into widely celebrated Black festivals worldwide.
From different black nations, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and more, we bring you the eleven best Black festivals to look out for during your holidays in 2023.
These top 11 black festivals should be on your mind for your next trip
Afronation, the world’s largest afrobeat festival, is a three-day annual beach music festival produced by Live Nation. According to its co-founders, Asegun Adeos and Obi Asika, the festival was born out of the need to create opportunities for Afrobeat artists and unify Africans in the diaspora and Black travelers in general. And over the years, it has been successful in its mission.
Black tourists worldwide flock to beach festivals in Ghana, Portugal, and Puerto Rico to see their favorite Afrobeat, Hip Hop, and Reggae artists, such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, French Montana, Davido, Rema, and Chris Brown, among others.
To experience good music and feel fulfilled, watch out for Afronation on June 28th – 30th, 2023.
- Essence festival
The Essence Festival, typically known as “the party with a purpose,” celebrates the culture, cuisine, entertainment, and style of the African-American community in New Orleans. It dates back to 1995 and has since been taking New Orleans by storm each 4th of July weekend. The festival features genres including R&B, Soul, Funk, Gospel, Blues, hip-hop, jazz, and much more.
- Curlfest festival
Festivals aren’t just about music and art; the beauty industry also has a cause to celebrate. That is what curliest has brought to the globe; celebrating natural Black women by making them feel appreciated and beautiful.
Curlfest is the largest Black-Owned beauty event in America, with the sole aim of protecting women of color from discrimination based on their hair. It’s a safe space where black women can be heard, seen, and primarily represented.
- Broccoli City Festival
In addition to creating innovative experiences and spaces that unapologetically celebrate Black culture through music and art, Broccoli city provides the opportunities, education, and resources needed to devise meaningful Black change. Their annual event, Broccoli City Festival, is a two-day hip-hop gathering held in the famed Gateway Park in Washington, DC. It features up-and-coming and in-demand performers like Lilwane, Cardio B, Burna Boy, and others and attracts thousands of Black travelers like you.
Broccoli City Festival 2023 is scheduled for the 4th- 7th of May 2023.
Ghana’s Afrochella is Africa’s answer to Coachella and has taken over the Elk Walk stadium in Accra since its inception in 2009. It honors the richness and culture of Africa while inspiring African entrepreneurs and artists to approach art with a progressive mindset.
The festival showcases and elevates young African talent through live performances, painting, African cuisine, and more. It’s an end-of-year event, and in 2023 it’ll hold from December 28th, 2022- January 6th.
- Odunde festival
The Odunde Festival is one of the biggest street African festivals created to celebrate African culture, featuring street vendors from different African nations. Their display of authentic African fabrics, jewelry, and music will leave you in awe.
Founded by Lois Fernandez, this one-day annual event originates from West Africa- the Yoruba people of Nigeria.
- Chale Wote Street Art Festival
If you’re an art fanatic, the Chale Wote Festival is one Black festival you can’t afford to miss. This festival brings art performances into the streets, targets local and international Black artists, and unites them through their art and creativity.
It features different events, photo exhibitions, a food and fashion marketplace, live street performances, and more.
- Afropunk Festival
Afropunk is a festival that happens annually and features films, music, fashion, and art produced by black artists. However, it is more than a festival. It’s a movement that celebrates the excellence of the black community.
- American Black Film Festival
For the Black creatives and actors in the house, ABFF should be number one in the travel itinerary–June 14th-18th, 2023. ABFF is the world’s largest community of Black film and Tv enthusiasts founded by Jeff Friday for the Black audience in the entertainment industry.
Since its founding in 1997, ABFF has made it a top priority to uplift, support, and inspire the creative spirit of gifted Black people. Through this event, Black film and tv enthusiasts are showcased in different forms of entertainment and content, and new Black talents are discovered and recognized through their talk events, parties, and high-powered networking.
- Something in the water
Something In The Water is another Black festival that honors Black music and art. Since its inception in 2019, founded by Pharrell Williams, the festival has been held yearly on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront until the Covid, when it was relocated to Washington, DC. The event showcases musical genres like R&B, hip-hop, rock, and others.
11. Reggae Sumfest
Raggae Sumfest, the largest music festival in Jamaica and the Caribbean, offers the chance for people from all over the world to hear reggae music at its very best in Jamaica, which is considered to be its “home”.
It also provides a platform for Jamaican artists to flourish on a worldwide stage, opening opportunities for exposure abroad.
Anticipate the best of Reggae 16-22 July 2023.
Mark your calendars, people! These eleven Black festivals will make your 2023 trip noteworthy if you attended any.