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10 Highlights of Ghana’s Asa Baako Festival

asa baako

Hosted annually in March, Asa Baako is one of Ghana’s and Africa’s most established and inclusive music festivals. The 5-day spectacle is a pleasant cocktail of music, art, and rollicking beach fun. Located an hour away from Takoradi, Busua is one of the most beautiful beach-villages of West Africa.

Asa Baako means “One Dance” in Ghana’s Akan language. The festival is about bringing people together from all around the world to celebrate Africa and African-inspired music and culture. Listed by Vogue as a ‘Festival of the Future’, Asa Baako started as a party on the beach in 2011 with 500 people and now one of Ghana’s best-loved festivals attracting over 5,000 revelers, and its tenth edition was no different. Asa Baako 2020 was our last real weekend getaway before the coronavirus pandemic seriously struck West-Africa. Here are 10 highlights of these incredible days. 

The Music

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Throughout the festival, music is everywhere! Most shops and restaurants are equipped with a powerful sound system, playing great music all day long. When the night comes, the different stages on the beach display the incredible line-up of DJs. Coming from Germany, France, Burundi, Nigeria, Ghana, and many other countries, with more than 20 performers, you will definitely find the music that suits you. You will also find some live acoustic artists if you want to have a more relaxed vibe. Otherwise, get ready to dance to the latest African bangers!

The Beach

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The beaches of Busua are probably in the top 3 of Ghana. The sand is almost white, perfectly clean, and palm trees provide pleasant shade for you to relax while enjoying a cold drink at one of the local bars. The water is not even cold, and the waves are powerful enough to surf but not to put you in danger. During the festival, it’s easy to realize that the beach is the perfect place to revitalize yourself after a long night, to chill after the party or to get away from the heat. 

The Party

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Asa Baako is 5 full days of non-stop partying. People are dancing at all times, everywhere, from Wednesday to Sunday straight. But if it is not enough for some, the festival is wrapped up by its ultimate event: the notorious Jungle Party. Held not on the beach but in the middle of the tropical forest, the Jungle Party is definitely worth its price (it is actually the only event where you have to pay a fee!). Prepare for an incredible vibe and hours of the latest dance music and don’t forget: what happens in the jungle stays in the jungle.

The Natural Environment

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Some people may not be fond of beaches for whatever reason. But Busua and its surrounding wilderness have more to offer than just the sea. Indeed, you can take this opportunity to explore the ecosystem of the whole region and discover its diversity: forests, jungles, immense trees, hills with breathtaking views… make sure to have a camera!

The Food

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Asa Baako also is a gastronomical festival. A lot of food stands come to the village to promote their original cuisine. The local bars and restaurants are often able to serve foreign food, and the festival is also the occasion to taste some of Ghana’s classic dishes. Special acknowledgment for the fabulous fish, fresh from the sea and grilled to perfection. 

The Art

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The Asa Baako festival is a beach haven for artifacts collectors. Find traditional drum makers, wooden sculptures, beadworks, leather bags, earrings, and other African fashion accessories. Also as part of the festival activities, a music workshop, and a photography exhibition was organized.

The Culture

Experience the spirited enthusiasm and rich culture of the Busua indigenes. Watch the electrifying southern dancers groove to the rhythm of the local drums, amidst the chanting and the performance of ancient rituals and choreographies, revealing the peak of their culture.

The Fashion

Fabric turns the sand-scape into a multicolored panoply as the tradition of beachside seamstresses, tailors and vendors encourage everyone to become owners of the unique clothing. From dashikis, local smocks (fugu/batakari), football jerseys to locally made accessories.

The Games

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The Asa Baako festival is a haven for those who love engaging in games and fun-filled physical activities. Accessible are multiple attractions such as rowboats, splash pools, water slides, surfing, beach volleyball, soccer, foosball, yoga, board games and so much more!

The People

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After all, the main thing we can keep from those 5 days is the people we have met there. And what a perfect occasion to make new friends! The festivalgoers come from all over the world just to have fun. Everyone is open to new friendships and people can rarely be as united than when partying on the beach until the sunrise. You will find all sorts of people: young volunteers, artists, entrepreneurs coming to have a good time, tourists… Keep an open mind and you will definitely come back home with new contacts. 

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