BENEATH THE BAOBABS FESTIVAL
NEW YEAR 2021/2022
Every year, in the heart of a baobab forest, nestled amidst a plateau 30m above the source of the Takaungu Creek, thousands of festival goers, performers, artists, DJs, sound and lighting crews, vendors, community leaders and wellness practitioners are drawn to Beneath the Baobabs Festival (formerly Kilifi New Year).
Opening gates on the 30th December, music plays non-stop for 3 days, catering for all types of music lovers, from Afro-House and Electronic Music, to Live Music and Hip Hop, Ambient and Acoustic to Percussion and Drum’n’Bass.
The festival began 7 years ago, when the original Distant Relatives Ecolodge and Backpackers crew produced a small electronic music party known as ‘Kilifi New Year Festival’. The event grew to become a multi day festival, offering a diverse line up and exciting production each year.
“Visitors can expect giant flaming art, surreal costumes, a collection of esoteric workshops, flame throwers, the burn, wild parties and a spirit of freedom.”
NEW NAME NEW HOME
As the festival exploded in popularity and outgrew its original location on the Kilifi Creek, the team, vision and dreams also expanded. A new home was found beneath a magical Baobab forest at the source of the emerald Takaungu Creek: Beneath the Baobabs – a magical destination event space and the new home for the Kilifi New Year Festival, renamed Beneath the Baobabs Festival.
IMMERSIVE ART + CULTURE
As of 2020, the Beneath the Baobabs Festival (formerly known as Kilifi New Year Festival) has evolved into 3 days of diverse music, immersive art and fresh cultural experience with 60+ artists and performers across 5 stages, culminating in the burning of a large wooden sculpture, symbolizing new beginnings and our shared optimism for a brighter future; bringing together the community of Kilifi and festival goers from Kenya and East Africa.
A PROUDLY KENYAN DESTINATION FESTIVAL
The Beneath the Baobabs Festival’s mission is one of transformation, through uniting people of all backgrounds, by providing a safe platform, even for the most marginalised of communities, to enjoy established and emerging East African Music, Art, Performance and Wellness, and for debates on Sustainability and Ethical topics for open dialogue between communities. Beneath the Baobabs Festival is a proudly Kenyan Destination Festival, uniting the rising counter culture movement of East Africa for a celebration like no other!
MADE BEAUTIFUL BY GREAT PARTNERS
Musically the festival showcases the most exciting East-African music of the year, with non-stop music from the 30th December to 2nd January on our Funktion One sound systems, powering stages lit by our lighting partners Aurora Africa. Previous festivals have featured artists such as Blinky Bill, Kampire, Suraj, Ochungulo Family and Faizal Mostrixx; who have been supported by international acts such as Da Capo, Osunlade, Nickodemus and Gato Preto. The focus of our bookings is to showcase the emerging and established scenes of East Africa, with breakthrough artists, live bands, acoustic acts and alternative producers often found performing on concealed stages throughout the 3 days. We represent each subculture of the East African underground music scene as best we can every year.
A HUGE CREATIVE INPUT
Art and Performance is also key to the experience of the festival. Each year a large squad of lighting designers, artists, volunteers and set designers take up residence on site for up to a month before, building the foundations of community, infrastructure and art, ready for a 3 day New Year celebration. The 50 acre site is turned into an immersive art gallery!
THE BEST OF EAST AFRICAN TALENT
Our ever expanding roster of talented East African performers brings the event to life adding magic with aerial silks and fire hooping on the main stage, flash mobs and performance art when you least expect it. All culminating in a magnificent parade to the dry creek bed, below the plateau of the main arenas, on the evening of 1st January, for our famous burn – the burning of a 13m high wooden sculpture.
A SUSTAINABLE FESTIVAL
BTB Festival proudly bans all Single-Use Plastics. We therefore encourage all of our attendees, suppliers and partners to help us on our mission to remove single-use plastics from our everyday life! Let’s do this together!
FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL FESTIVAL IN AFRICA
BTB Festival is proudly the first “Carbon Neutral Festival in Africa” This means that each year, we hire professionals to estimate our emissions to put the festival together. We then donate money to our partner Wildlife Works (based in Kasigau midway between Nairobi & Mombasa) who will protect hundreds of acres of forest to offset these emissions. This does not include carbon emissions from BTB Festival attendees (for example from their transport). We therefore encourage all attendees who share our Vision to also offset their emissions by using Wildlife Works Carbon Footprint Calculator.
GLAMPING & CAMPING
Beneath the Baobabs Festival offers Glamping and Camping options on site for those looking for an immersive experience and to get the most out of their time at the festival. There are always a number of local food, fashion and creative vendors on offer each year, meaning it’s entirely possible to never leave the site and miss out on any of the action.
MIND, BODY & SOUL
For those who like to balance Party with Wellness of the with Mind, Body and Soul, the burgeoning Kisima area is a space dedicated to a wealth of holistic practices. Here you can feast on workshops, talks, discussions, therapies, art, performance and movement – it is a space for human connection, peace, creativity, mutual understanding and grey matter stimulation! Kilifi University hosts thought-provoking & insightful conversations on topics such as Racism in Kenya, Finances for the Average Millennial, LGBTIQ Rights, Sex and Taboos, Freedom of Travel, and Feminism. Our team is always looking at ways to encourage and enlighten, with ethical discussions on issues of marginalised communities and other global issues of the day.
Beneath the Baobabs Festival is the annual convergence of alternative culture in East Africa and Kenya. We welcome groups of all backgrounds and strive to make the Festival safe and accessible to all. Whilst this is a primarily Kenyan festival, designed to honour and celebrate contemporary and alternative East African culture, we also welcome international groups to experience the magic of our emerging cultures, to learn about East Africa and its amazing people.
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