By Alex Roberts
Have you ever been to a music festival in Kenya; and realized that once you’ve paid the entrance fee that the entire line-up is skewed top-heavy; with a few leading acts and a multitude of filler performances just below the main card?
Kilifi New Year 2020 is the absolute polar opposite. No bullshit, in about five weeks, the absolute best pound-for-pound lineup of Kenyan artists ever assembled at one single music festival I’ve ever seen will take the stages in that weird jungle beneath the baobabs outside of Kilifi town in the heart of the Kenyan coast.
It isn’t just that; even to get this festival in the first place takes a fucking journey; a minimum of a puddle jumper flight from Nairobi; or an overheated bus swerving past bleeting matatus through endless fields of sisal, the ocean always just somewhere out of sight beyond a row of palms.
To get into the grounds; you’ll probably have to hop, dusty and tired, off the bus and onto a boda boda, which will promptly take you much deeper into a seemingly random field than you thought should be possible.
Just as you’re starting to get worried as to whether or not you’ve become lost to the point of existential crisis, the festival grounds will materialize, massive structures of palm, paint and structure, tents of liquor and assorted beautiful people spotting the grounds; beating the heat on hay bales underneath the trees with cups of dawa.
What happens in the following 72 hours is entirely on you; there are seemingly no sins too grave for Kilifi NYE, as long as your vibe stays right, and you don’t cut in on anyone else’s time.
In front one of those main stages; between giant patios constructed outwards into space surrounding unspeakably massive baobab trees, you’ll find the floor in front of main stage, which if you’re a dancing one, you surely won’t be leaving until the point of near-dehydration that comes on sudden in the Coasterian heat.
So, if you claim that you are a major lover of the Kenyan music scene, and you aren’t going to this, then my dear friend, you’ve terminally missed the ship and need to correct course in your life with damn near immediate effect.
That’s when the acts will actually take the stage, and you’ll realize that this party is for serious people only.
Look, when acts this good are all in the mix together, it brings out the best of all of them, and surely that’ll be the case at Kilifi NYE this year. So who are included in said acts? Blinky Bill, DJ Coco Em, Gregg Tendwa, Valerie Muthoni, Jack Rooster, Imran Mwangi, Yellow Light Machine, The Kaya Collective and of course Ochungulo Family.
Look all of this is on tap; and we haven’t even mentioned the international acts yet.
As we, The EA Scene, are thoroughly committed to getting you lit as fuck as possible- we thoroughly endorse heading to Kilifi NYE for this coming New Year’s.