Music Festivals

Burna Boy and Wizkid Will Headline Debut Afro Nation Festival in Miami

Photo by Rob Rusling/RCA Records
Wizkid
If your concept of African music is limited to tribal drums and Fela Kuti, you're in luck. A continent's worth of earth-shaking Afro-pop is about to debut in Miami.

Festival brand Afro Nation has announced its inaugural Miami festival with a lineup featuring some of the global African diaspora's hottest stars. Headlining will be two chart-topping Nigerian heroes of the Afrobeats genre: Wizkid (you may know him best from Drake's "One Dance") and Burna Boy. They'll be supported by their fellow Naijas CKay, Rema, Asake, Bnxn, and Ghana's Black Sherif.

West Africa's not the only region on display. Congolese-French rapper Franglish will deliver his distinctive brand of hip-hop, while dancehall legend Beenie Man will fly the Jamaican flag. But we're perhaps most excited about Afro Nation's "Piano People" stage, a separate space for the fast-rising South African genre of Amapiano, a sensual, simmering, bass-driven take on Afro-house. Major League DJz, Uncle Waffles, Musa Keys, Focalistic, and more will be on hand to deliver plenty of piano power. More artists are to be announced.

Although this is Afro Nation's first event in the 305, the festival has hosted previous editions in Portugal, Ghana, and Puerto Rico, making it something like a Rolling Loud-style traveling festival brand specifically for Afro-beats and related genres. The event has also dipped into the American talent pool in the past, bringing the likes of Megan Thee Stallion to the Portuguese resort town of Portimão. 

While these artists may not (yet!) be household names in the U.S., they're certainly stars in the rest of the world. You've got time to research before Afro Nation drops into Loan Depot Park on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28. The year may be young, but you're unlikely to find a better festival lineup in Miami in 2023.

See below for the full Afro Nation phase-one lineup in alphabetical order:
  • Asake
  • Beenie Man
  • Black Sherif
  • Burna Boy
  • Bnxn
  • Ckay
  • Dadju
  • Focalistic
  • Franglish
  • Gyakie
  • Major League DJz
  • Musa Keys
  • Nelson Freitas
  • Nissi
  • Rema
  • TXC
  • Uncle Waffles
  • Vigro Deep
  • Wizkid
Afro Nation Miami 2023. With Burna Boy, Wizkid, Beenie Man, and more. Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, at LoanDepot Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami; usa.afronation.com. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 13, at 1 p.m.