Photo of Les Amazones D'Afrique singers wearing colorful dresses.
Photo: Karen Pauline Biswell

Les Amazones d’Afrique, Mayito Rivera and SANNI to perform at World Village Festival

Major sustainable development gathering and world music event World Village Festival has announced its first set of performers. See performances by activist music collective Les Amazones d’Afrique, former Los Van Van frontman Mayito Rivera, Grammy-winner Ricky Kej, Oum from Morocco and one of Finland’s biggest stars, SANNI, at Kaisaniemi Park in Helsinki, 23-24 May. Free admission.

The domestic headliner of World Village Festival is SANNI, whose track 2080-luvulla was recently recognised as the most played song on the radio in the past decade.

– The festival’s theme is future, which will surely hit home with younger audiences. The actions of today will affect the future of children and young people especially, making SANNI an excellent headliner for the festival, says Communications and Fundraising Manager Nelli Korpi.

Les Amazones d’Afrique and Oum speak out for women’s rights

The festival will feature international artists from around the globe, ranging from the brightest stars to exciting new voices. Two of the festival’s performers, Les Amazones d’Afrique and Oum, have visited Finland before and are both using modern African sounds to advocate for women’s rights, environmental protection and to speak about migration.

Les Amazones d’Afrique, founded in in 2014 by three female Malian singers, released their second album Amazones Power (Real World Records) in January 2020. The collective of sixteen international vocalists will be represented at World Village Festival by founding member Mamani Keïta (MLI), Fafa Ruffino (BEN) and Niairu (GIN).

– This year’s festival will feature a number of pointedly political and influential artists from around the world. Sustainable development, human rights and environmental issues are at the heart of the festival, so it is important that these themes are also present in the messages of our performers, says Programme Manager Johanna Eurakoski.

Grammy winners Ricky Kej and Mayito Rivera are no strangers to the international spotlight

Having acted as the frontman of Cuban group Los Van Van for over 20 years, Mayito Rivera and his band Sons of Cuba represent some of the festival’s most internationally known performers. Specialising in salsa, timba and son, Rivera has won a Grammy Award with Los Van Van and received a Grammy nomination for his solo album Llegó La Hora.

Indian Ricky Key is not only a respected musician and composer whose work combines pop and new age music, but also an environmental activist who has dedicated his life and music to increasing awareness of environmental issues. In 2014, he and South African flautist Woulter Kellerman won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album for their collaborative project Winds of Samsara. In addition to a live performance, Ricky Kej’s music can be heard at the festival in the documentary film Wild Karnataka, which is narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Kej will give a keynote speech as part of the documentary’s screening.

Nelli Korpi, communications and fundraising manager,, +358 50 317 6698
Johanna Eurakoski, programme manager,, +358 50 317 6696

Flickr image gallery (photographs available for media use)

World Village Festival is held 23—24 May 2020 in Kaisaniemi Park and Railway Square in Helsinki. Entrance to the event is free of charge. The rest of the festival’s musical programme, the children’s programme, area programme and the documentary film lineup will be published on 31 March. Discussions, interviews, talks and panels will be published on 8 April. Talks and discussions will focus on the theme of the festival, which is the future. In addition to the hundred events in the festival programme, the festival will be attended by approximately 400 exhibitors, from NGOs to bazaar vendors and international food vendors. The event is organised by Fingo, an umbrella organisation for over 300 NGOs working in development. The festival’s main partners are the Church in Helsinki, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the European Commission in Finland, the European Parliament’s Information Office for Finland and Maailman Kuvalehti.