The first festival was held in 1994 and has been held every year since. It demonstrates co-operation between the different communities who live in the region of Casamance.
This is a 'not to be missed' village festival, which is held every December for 8 days. It celebrates music, dance and theatre and attracts the top artists in the region who gather together, along with many other performers from across West Africa and Europe. The festival usually runs from December 26th to January 2nd.
All year round, musicians and dancers from around the world come to Abene to learn. However in the festival season the party really gets going !.
The festival attracts regular visitors from all over Europe, so please come and join us in this joyful celebration of the best in African art.
Wrestling; La Lutte is a traditional Senegalese sport, it is great fun to watch and is held on several afternoons over the festival. Wrestlers enter the arena in full costume; a loincloth in brightly patterned materials arranged with a tail falling behind, their bodies oiled and arms covered in leather Grigri (charms) before strutting around the ring preceded by Griots playing Seruba drums.
Football matches are also held during the festival and well worth attending; they are played with skill energy and great good humour.
At the festival a disco is held every night after the performances and has the best in Reggae, mbalax (Latin/African mix), salsa and more. Dance till sunrise!!!!!
The aim of the organising committee is to create a cultural space in Casamance, not only by inviting groups who enjoy international fame but also to promote local groups. The festival also features groups from other countries whose music is inspired from African culture.
The committee therefore contributes actively to the socio-cultural and economic development of the region of South Senegal.
Since December 1994, the year of the 1st festival, funds raised by the festival have been used to expand different aspects of life in Abene, such as health, education, culture and sport.
Please note: The organisation committee of the festival would like to inform all visitors that it is not allowed to make audio or video recordings of any performance within the festival programme. This rule is aimed at protecting the work of professional artists who have in the past found that their music was sometimes pirated without giving credit or payment to them. This also reassures all professional artists intending to perform at the festival that the audience respects their cultural heritage.