Catch the likes of Nakhane at Bassline Fest on May 15. Picture: Supplied

Bassline is proud to announce the rebranded Bassline Fest, previously known as Bassline Africa Day Concert.

Now in its 14th year as the only Johannesburg-based Festival that celebrates African unity and diversity, Bassline Fest has grown from strength to strength, now taking over three full days to platform music, food, and dialogue to promote social cohesion across the continent.

Bassline Fest is a joyous, thought-provoking and educational platform of the cultural diversity our beautiful continent provides. The hashtag #bethelegacy is inspired by our partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2018, forming part of the year-long Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018 – “Be The Legacy” celebration.

Bassline will be working closely with the Foundation to promote Madiba’s legacy through dialogue and music programming. The Bassline Fest is the Foundation’s official Africa Month celebratory event and will be using the event as a fundraiser for the foundation with a percentage of the ticket sales going to the Foundation.

TRACE Southern Africa’s Senior-Vice President, Leo Manne, is excited about the extended partnership: “As we enter our second year of collaborating with the Bassline family, we look forward to taking our collaboration to greater heights. 

We are confident that the the revival of this already successful event property will attract more of our urban African youth, who are central to our commitment to building musical bridges across our vibrant continent.”

Booked at Johannesburg’s Constitution Hill, the weekend’s festivities begin on the African Union’s official Africa Day (Friday, May 25), with a closed day of dialogues in the Women’s Prison involving key thought-leaders in a series of panel discussions.

The main focus will be on promoting social cohesion, the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the Constitution as well as how music and arts continue to contribute towards the promotion of democracy. 

The music and food festivities kick off on Saturday, May 26 from 3pm to 11pm with two stages, both featuring top tier artists from not only the African continent, but from across the globe.

SABC2 will broadcast live from the Fest between 8pm and 11pm. The Sunday fest times are 12pm to 7pm.
The first announcement of artists, in no order of priority, is as follows:

Simphiwe Dana – South Africa
Dub Inc – France
Flavia Coelho – Brazil
Nakhane – South Africa
Nathalie Natiemba – Reunion Island
Ghorwane – Mozambique
Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabusa – South Africa
Oki Dub Ainu Band – Japan
Sekou Kouyate – Guinea
Azah – South Africa
Elida Almeida – Cape Verde

The next tier of acts will be announced in two weeks, including a surprise headliner.

Bassline Fest forms the Johannesburg leg of the Igoda Festival Circuit.

Igoda, meaning ‘knot’ or ‘bind together’ in Zulu, is a unique and innovative concept that brings together the finest music festivals within Southern Africa to create one of the strongest touring circuits on the African continent.

The circuit presents an ease of opportunity for artists to travel the continent. 

International artists will often share the circuit and can be seen at several of the festivals over the same space of time, allowing fans from across the continent that exposure.

Final Artist line-ups and programming for the weekend will be shared with the public in due time.

Early bird tickets are open now for R300 at for one week only. Tickets are R400 per day thereafter.

Bassline Fest is presented by the Department Of Arts & Culture, in association with Kaya FM and TRACE Africa. 

Additional partners include The Nelson Mandela Foundation, SABC2, Constitution Hill SAB Inbev, Tsogo Sun, IFAS.