Sheriffo Kanuteh; photo: Jana Snuderl

Sheriffo Kanuteh; photo: Jana Snuderl

Music and dance color every corner of daily life in The Gambia. Live performance, which is often continue late into the night, are an unmissable introduction to Gambian social life at its most exuberant. But traditional music is far more than just entertainment; it’s the mot valued and celebrated of the arts, used to spread news, tell stories, cement relationships and express religious beliefs. As such, it has a crucial role in cultural rituals.

In The Gambia, there has been a growing movement to revive some traditional festivals and to promote cultural heritage. Such events are helping to attract more tourists and as well helping to present Gambian music, art and dance to the world. If you are excited to experience a festival and you love different culture, dance and music then Gambia is a perfect destination.

Festivals are happening all year around. If you would like to attend any particular festival, then check out some of the most common festival by clicking HERE. Events are taking place at different towns and villages of Abene, Bakau, Brufut, Dankunku, Kartong and Kwinella, as well of course at the capital city of Banjul. Here yearly celebrations include the Banjul Demba Cultural Festival in January, the exuberant July 22nd festivities and the final stretch of a major African car rally each December.

Sometimes it is hard to track down the exact dates of festivals and musical performances as advance information are not always available. If you are planing a visit to The Gambia in the time of Roots Festival (May/June) or in December, you are guaranteed a high-octane introduction to the best of Gambian music.

Local, smaller events tend to be promoted by word of mouth. If you miss out any of bigger festivals, you will definitely be invited to a local drumming competition, naming or marriage ceremony or any other cultural event with lots of tribe dancing and music.

Roots Festival Food & bevarge festival