Afro Nation Set To Make Mainland North America Debut In Miami May 27-28
Following the inaugural Afro Nation Puerto Rico in March 2022, along with the return of Afro Nation Portugal in July 2022 and Afro Nation Ghana in December 2022, the world’s biggest Afrobeats festival will continue its expansion by debuting in Miami over Memorial Day Weekend. The event – marking Afro Nation’s first-ever fest in mainland North America – takes place at loanDepot park, the home of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, May 27-28.
“It’s exciting to see where we are now with the live events – where our superstars are and how they’re representing us and how a lot of people have been inspired by the culture,” says Afro Nation CEO and co-founder SMADE (aka Adesegun Adeosun Jr.), reflecting on the growth of both the festival and the popularity of the Afrobeats genre.
The Nigerian-born British event promoter and entrepreneur adds, “To have delivered last year was a great feeling and to see now that we are in one of the world’s biggest destinations … I grew up in Lagos and in Lagos, everyone would talk about how one of the [top] places they’d ever want to go to is Miami for holiday.”
The lineup for the Miami edition is headlined by two giants in the Afrobeats genre, with Burna Boy closing out the main stage on Saturday and WizKid on Sunday. The weekend also boasts Jamaican dancehall legend Beenie Man and artists representing hip-hop, R&B, amapiano and Afro House including Rema, Asake, Fireboy DML, Mavado, Dadju, CKay, Sech and more. The event is produced by SMADE Entertainment, Event Horizon and Live Nation.
The impact of Afrobeats – which SMADE describes as promoting love and unity – goes beyond music. SMADE explains that Afro Nation is also a “celebration of our food, our fashion. A lot of people come out in their different fashions representing their backgrounds … showcasing the beauty of Africa.”
And then there is the rise of what SMADE calls the “jollof wars.” He explains: “Jollof rice is very big in Africa – and a lot of African countries claim that they have the best jollof rice. … Everybody being interested in jollof rice all of a sudden – that’s part of the impact of the genre.”
General admission two-day tickets are priced at $225, with VIP passes available for $449 and Golden Tickets priced at $550, plus fees. Single-day tickets are also available, starting at $149 for GA.
Fans who purchase Golden Tickets get to attend the official welcome party at Oasis Wynwood May 26 featuring Walshy Fire, Dutty Dex, Chromatic, Silent Addy and Jumbee, hosted by Jason Panton. Golden ticketholders also get access to the closing party put on by Jerk X Jollof May 29 “celebrating the sounds and flavors of the Caribbean and West Africa,” with performances by Jae Murphy, Angel + Dren, Silent Addy, Blakito and Sachi Sounds, hosted by Emcee Ebone.
The capacity for the Miami festival is set at 30,000. When SMADE spoke to Pollstar in early May he noted that the event was selling just about 20,000 tickets and “hopefully within the next three weeks, we expect a good rush toward sales.”
SMADE says he’s looking forward to how the event will positively affect the local community in Miami, noting that with the Ghana festival “the hospitality industry was really jumping and it was good to see that.”
The Ghana edition attracted fans from more than 140 countries and the Miami event is also expected to draw a wide-ranging audience.
“It’s just amazing the overwhelming love that we receive in all of the different locations,” SMADE says. “There will be a lot of beautiful people flying in from all over the world to celebrate in Miami. … We sell tickets in Israel … China … different places around the world that you would not even expect that they listen to Afrobeats music.”