2011 saw the launch of a new 3-day music festival in Ghana, Asabaako Music Festival. The hope is for this to take its place on the map alongside other globally-renowned music festivals in Mali, Morocco, Kenya , etc.
The new festival returned the fun and excitement to the beach-side village of Busua last December, after its debut in March. The initial idea had been for the festival to be built around Ghana’s Independence day, but following this second edition the festival will henceforth be held annually during the Farmers’ Day celebrations (first Friday in December).
Thus it was that Busua, a little village tucked away from Takoradi (the capital city of Western Region), came alive in the weeks before March and December as the buzz of Asaabako (which means ‘one dance’) travelled across the predominantly fishing and farming community with posters and flyers littering the village. The locals were indeed ready to have all the fun that Asabaako promised and that was what they got.
The second edition of the festival started on Friday on a Hip-hop/Hiplife note with several up and coming rappers from within the Takoradi metropolis, including Jae Bills, Scurry, Spooky, Ato Sela, Story Tym, Nero, Kofi Kinaata, Sketches and Yaa Pono from Accra. Emerging Ivorian Hip-hop act Zepekenio also showcased his unique mix of Coupé-Décalé and Hip-hop.
On Day 2 we were treated to Jazz and Soul, traditional music and Highlife, and a pinch of Hiplife and alternative rap. A performance by a local brass band earlier in the day gave way to a series of live Highlife and Reggae performances from the Rising International Band.
The FOKN Bois
The main performances that night were by Nigerian acoustic Soul/Folk/Reggae singer Sistasoul, Lady J and A.R.T, Lil Shaker, Sankwas Bois, FOKN Bois (Wanlov and M3nsa), plus a spoken word performance by DK Osei-Yaw.
Ghanaian MC & producer TRoy Broadcite
Day 3 was mostly for DJ mixes, and the evening saw a Jungle Party on Busua Beach’s forest coast. If any further evidence was needed of our globally connected world, the eclectic mixes of genres was the proof.
The Ghanaian and international DJs, including Kobby Graham, Rita Ray, DJ Sanse, DJ T-Roy, B-Brave, Andy Stoner, DJ Shocka, made Busua reverbrate to the sounds of Hiplife, Highlife, Afrobeat, House, Electronic music and a whole list of other genres of music. People just danced away, whatever the genre.
Young Busua residents hoping to experience some excitement on the quiet beach; Accra residents looking for a perfect getaway from the chaotic city life; tourists and expats looking to mingle with locals and unwind, Asabaako Music Festival had something for everyone.
The beach was also packed with fun activities such as beach soccer, acrobatics, swimming, surfing, cheer singing, rap contests and dancing competitions. The popular Azonto dance seems to have travelled all the way to the coasts of the Western Region, as young children of Busua and the adults alike showed off their Azonto skills.
For a small village, the Busua Beach area boasts quite a wide variety of food. Okorye Tree Restaurant offered a delightful Eurocentric menu, Alaska Beach Club had some spicy hot chicken, and Dadson Lodge was the place for scrumptious homemade grub. Meanwhile seafood lovers party to the rhythms of Asabaako while watching the fishermen catching fresh and assorted fish and lobster, and then choose which should be used to prepare their meal.
After two successful editions, festival organizer, Beating Tracks, believes the stage is now set to attract an even more diverse range of international acts, so see you for the third edition of Asabaako.