Mercury Prize nominees, Foals, and multiple South African Music Award-winners, Freshlyground, have been named as headliners for the 2011 edition of Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi.
This year taking place from Sept. 30 to Oct.2nd, the festival has run since 2004 on the shores of Lake Malawi with the intention of raising the small east African country’s profile as a tourism destination. In 2010, organizers estimated attendance at 3,300 with 95 acts playing the festival including 65 from Malawi.
Founder, Will Jameson, describes the 2011 lineup as “justly global, truly Malawian, showcasing a diverse mix of traditional and new African music, art, poetry, fashion, markets, food and more”.
In an interview with Billboard.biz the UK-based Jameson – who first visited Malawi in 1998 as a volunteer with the Wildlife Society – described Malawi’s music scene as primarily built on live performance. “It is a real mix of live performances of reggae and Afropop from legends like Black Missionaries, Lucius Banda through to DJ/MC combinations playing hip hop with a US influence,” said Jameson.
“There are also some brilliant folk and world music artists such as Peter Mawanga and Geddes Chalamanda. We try and get a variation in when we book our local acts for Lake of Stars.”
“This year we’re seeing the return of the Blacks and Lucius but we will also go into the villages to source traditional musicians for our smaller Third Stage. There will also be a good range of poetry, theatre groups and an amazing performance from a Malawi martial arts school,” Jameson said.
Also part of the line-up in 2011 are newcomers, Maskal and Skeffa Chimoto.
Foals and Freshlyground will join previous Lake of Stars headliners, including Noisettes (2010) and the Maccabees (2009). Foals’ track ‘Spanish Sahara’ was voted as Single of the Year by NME magazine in 2010 whilst Freshlyground’s 2010 record, ‘Radio Africa’ (Sony SA) was named best adult contemporary album: English at this year’s South African Music Awards.