A three time Grammy Award-winning percussionist and drummer who helped compose the score for Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther is set to join the line-up at a new Suffolk festival Rhythms Sans Frontières next July.
Magatte Fall, a Senegalese performer who is now based in Los Angeles, has performed with artists including Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita, John Legend, Dianne Reeves and Baaba Maal and is now booked in to teach African Djembe drumming at the festival in Euston Park next July.
Visitors will also be able to learn the arts of beat box, circus skills, world percussion, dance and singing among the sixty plus workshops on offer over the weekend.
The team behind the festival, which has been over a year in the planning, include Norwich-based world music promoter and programmer Gary Newland and Gemma and Marcus Brown, a Suffolk couple who run Wooden Roots, a company that designs and manufactures traditional West African djembe drums and percussion instruments from their base at Bentwaters Park near Rendlesham.
Among the other acts booked to perform are The Turbans, Addictive TV, The London Afrobeat Collective and all female Afro-Latin jazz ensemble Colectiva. Familiar names from the region will also be on the bill such as Anna Mudeka’s African Choir of Norfolk, Jose McGill & The Vagaband and Ipswich reggae DJ, Bopper Ranking.
Marcus says: “We will be presenting a brilliant and eclectic line-up across our main stages, dance tents and chilled-out bar venues. We are incredibly excited about being able to celebrate diversity and bringing a wealth of superb artists to the crowds attending the festival.”
Rhythms Sans Frontières will also be aiming to give a voice to human rights, humanitarian and climate change concerns and is being supported by organisations such as World Land Trust, based in Halesworth, Frank Water, Amnesty International and Medecins Sans Frontières, while the festival’s main sponsor is Rowan Energy, the world’s first community-fed green energy company.
Gary, a former Development Studies graduate at UEA Norwich, said: “Human rights, humanitarian and climate change campaigning is something I have been actively supporting since studying at the UEA and becoming involved with international artists from around the world. I wanted to bring a Festival to East Anglia which puts these issues at the heart of the event, as well as presenting a truly global line-up”
As well as open air, big top stages, dance tents and participatory workshop venues, the festival will have dedicated speaker tent where leading international NGOs and charities will be presenting talks, giving audiences an insight into their campaign work.
Gemma said: “As the recent COP26 has shown us, there is an appetite across the world for positive change in the world. We are hoping to do our bit by inspiring, enlightening and entertaining our audiences and as part of that we want to limit our environmental footprint as much as possible.”
Rhythms Sans Frontières has a raft of eco-friendly policies in place to minimise its carbon footprint. For example, visitors will be able to rent an up-cycled pre-pitched tent and camping equipment from Camplight, while the festival will be rewarding those who travel to the event by public transport.
There will be a free shuttle bus service to Euston Hall from Thetford railway station via Thetford Coach Company. Meanwhile, anyone travelling by car, or bringing a caravan or motorhome will be asked to purchase a separate ticket, 50% of which will go directly to the NGO partners involved.
Gates will open for camping from 9am on Friday 1st July 2022 and the arena will be open from midday on the same day. The event ends late on Sunday night, 3rd July. Day tickets are valid for either the Saturday or Sunday only. Under-15s can attend the festival for free.