The performance of the legendary Afrobeat star Seun Kuti at World Village Festival this Saturday 27 May was at risk of being cancelled as Kuti was arrested in Nigeria just under two weeks ago. Kuti’s major European tour was supposed to have already kicked off last weekend, but fortunately for Finland and World Village Festival the situation was resolved early enough for him to make it to Finland for Saturday.
Nigerian Seun Kuti inherited the leader role of Egypt 80 when his father, the Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, passed away 25 years ago. Ever since assuming the frontman role when aged only 14, Seun Kuti has continued to deliver his father’s political and musical legacy, defending the oppressed and fighting against corruption as well as developing Afrobeat, the genre combining West African and American music styles with complex intersecting rhythms and percussion.
– My mission is to bring Pan-African culture around the world and music is a medium that allows me to express my message. For this I thank the World Village Festival which will give me the opportunity to do it with the Finnish public. Events like this give people the opportunity to have a discussion on various topics and that’s what we need, in an era where our brains are increasingly lazy, Seun Kuti says.
The Afrobeat superstar will hold 33 concerts between Europe. Despite the difficulties due to the legal case in which Seun Kuti has been involved, the Nigerian artist did not want to give up his appointment with the audience:
– I can’t wait to go back to Europe to embrace my fans and my friends again and bring my message, and that of people who continue to suffer from injustice, through the sound of afrobeat.
World Village Festival goes live this weekend (27–28 May) in Suvilahti, Helsinki
The free-admission event will bring you concerts, dozens of talks and discussions, kids’ programme and 200 exhibitors from CSOs to authorities and food and bazaar vendors. The programme also features Street Art Area performances, workshops, a photo exhibition, evening clubs and pre-festival events. This year’s theme is Force for Change!
The international stars appearing on the Music Stage are Toya Delazy, Liraz and Balaklava Blues. Big Finnish names taking the stage are Von Hertzen Brothers, Jesse Markin, Yeboyah, Ilta and Megasakki. Key speakers include activists Helena Gualinga, Winnie Masai, Carmen Gheorghe and Tendai Makanza.
The festival site map, schedules and list of stands and food can be found on the festival website. The entire programme is admission free and without any age limits except for the weekend’s evening clubs.
World Village Festival in Suvilahti, Helsinki, on Saturday 27 May from 11.00 to 21.00 and on Sunday 28 May from 11.00 to 19.00. Free admission and no age limits.
Questions and interview requests
Communications Manager Nelli Korpi, firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 50 317 6698
World Village Festival is Finland’s leading event for global action for the whole family, an admission free cultural festival-, and a trade fair for sustainable development. The event will be organised in the Suvilahti event venue, Helsinki, in 27–28 May 2023 with Force for Change! as the theme. The main organiser is Finnish Development NGOs Fingo. The main partners are the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Maailman Kuvalehti magazine.