Guess who’s biz-ack!
As one of the regions prominent festivals celebrating African-American culture and music, the year 2020 felt even more empty with the absence of Baltimore AFRAM.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore City Park and Recreations, and their partners just dropped the announcement that the 2021 festival will provide a weeklong hybrid experience beginning Aug. 15 with the main festival taking place virtually on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22.
“We are so happy to bring AFRAM back to Baltimore this summer,” Baltimore City Recreation and Parks’ executive director Reginald Moore said in a statement. “Having to sit out of the 2020 festival due to COVID-19 restrictions gave our agency time to reflect and strategize on how to bring the city a safe but memorable festival experience for 2021. While this year’s festival won’t bring 100,000 people to the park, we believe that the spirit of AFRAM will still be felt.”
There will be limited in-person and digital activities in various landmark locations throughout the city, organizers said.
Now in its 44th year, the Baltimore AFRAM Festival remains one of the largest African American cultural arts festivals on the East Coast and a summer staple for the city of Baltimore.
Due to health guidelines and restrictions of large gatherings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, AFRAM’s 2020 festivities were canceled. However, Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks remain committed to using the festival as an opportunity to highlight Baltimore’s best and brightest in Black art, fashion, food and culture.
“AFRAM is one of my favorite Baltimore traditions and although we cannot be in person this year, I am just as excited to partake in this hybrid setting,” Scott said in a statement. “I commend Director Moore and BCRP for their tremendous work to ensure Baltimoreans can still enjoy this experience. I look forward to tuning in with all of you for this year’s festivities.”
The lineup of performers have been announced, and granted they will all be done virtually, it should still be an amazing show. For the Saturday lineup, expect to see Mooski, Wale, and Busta Rhymes, while Sunday’s show will be spearheaded by Smokie Norful, Marsha Ambrosius, and Chaka Khan.
In the meantime, check out our recap from the 2019 AFRAM festival.