Afro Nation Detroit 2024: The Epic Return to the Heartbeat of Black Culture

Afro Nation Detroit is set to reclaim its spot as the heartbeat of the summer. On August 17-18, 2024, Detroit will come alive as Afro Nation returns to Bedrock’s Douglass Site. This festival is more than just an event; it’s a powerful homecoming for the African Diaspora in one of America’s most iconic Black cities. Last year’s Afro Nation Detroit 2023 drew tens of thousands each day, creating an atmosphere that felt like an epic family reunion. The vibe was electric, the music soul-stirring, and the sense of unity was palpable. This year, the festival is ready to take it up a notch, engaging the community and drawing even more people to celebrate Detroit’s rich cultural legacy – in true Detroit fashion.

Detroit is no ordinary city. It’s the birthplace of Motown, the cradle of techno, and a cornerstone of Black cultural music. The festival’s return to Bedrock’s Douglass Site, formerly the Brewster-Douglass complex, is a testament to this legacy. This site was the first federally funded housing project for African Americans in the United States and nurtured legends like Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson. It’s a place steeped in history, its soil rich in significance, making it the perfect stage for Afro Nation.

Photo Credit: Cydni R.

Photo: Le Don, local Afro Nation representative, Josh Koram, Afro Nation festival organizer, Ebony JJ Curry, Michigan Chronicle discusses Afro Nation 2024 at Brewster Douglass Site.

As anticipation builds for this year, the excitement is evident, not just in Detroit but across the African Diaspora. Josh Koram of Ghana, an Afro Nation festival organizer who spearheaded last year’s festival, shared his enthusiasm with the Michigan Chronicle, stating, “Literally, it’s only going to be bigger and better. It’s going to be really, really sweet.” This sentiment echoes the broader impact of West African influence on the festival. The vibrant sounds of Afrobeats, originating from Nigeria and Ghana, have become a global phenomenon, uniting people through music. Afro Nation Detroit is a testament to this cultural wave, amplifying the voices and stories from West Africa and beyond, and bringing them to Detroit – a historic American city that has long been a cradle of Black music and culture.

Essentially, Afro Nation Detroit celebrates the rich intersection of global Black culture, bringing together a diverse array of artists and fans. This year’s festival has announced the addition of two major stars to its lineup: Lil Wayne and Shenseea. Lil Wayne, with his deeply well-respected catalog of hip-hop hits and endless quotables, joins Asake and Rema as a festival headliner. Shenseea, the first dancehall artist to join the lineup of Afro Nation Detroit 2024, returns after her dynamic performance at the inaugural Afro Nation Miami in 2023.

As the only scheduled Afro Nation event in the United States this year, Detroit stands out as a unique and fitting location.

Smade, Co-Founder of Afro Nation, shared his thoughts on the festival’s return to Detroit: “Bringing Afro Nation back to Detroit, the home of Motown and techno music, was an easy decision. Detroit embodies culture, creativity, and pride. The energy here is electric, echoing the heartbeat of Afro Nation’s spirit. In Detroit, we found a community that welcomed us with open arms, sharing our passion for unity and celebration, giving us a home away from home. Afro Nation Detroit 2024 will be even bigger than last year, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you.”

Last year’s festival was a cultural landmark. Headlined by Burna Boy and Davido, and it was Burna Boy’s performance that stood out as a near-spiritual experience. As he performed “Ye,” tens of thousands of people from all over the world danced and sang in unison, creating a powerful moment of collective energy and joy. The crowd’s acapella chant of “Shayoooo!” resonated through the crowd, creating a moment of pure unity and shared joy that felt almost magical.

Koram says that this year will ignite the same vibes as last year’s festival, “Literally, it’s going to be an extension of that. Detroit is based off community, family, love, and when something is brought to the city, everybody gets behind it. So, it’s important for us, obviously, to understand, to be able to give back, give a platform to people from Detroit through the DJ’s, through the artists and so on and so forth, and really make it something special.”

As Koram mentioned, this year’s lineup promises to be just as dynamic as Afro Nation Detroit 2023, featuring international stars like Kizz Daniel, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, and Ayra Starr. Rapid risers like Amaarae and Ruger will also perform, alongside PartyNextDoor, who brings his smooth vibes to the stage. Detroit’s own rapper Kash Doll will represent the city’s rap scene, adding a local touch to the festival.

The Piano People stage will return, showcasing the ascendant South African genre of Amapiano with artists such as Uncle Waffles, Scorpion Kings, DBN Gogo, and Musa Keys. This stage highlights Afro Nation’s commitment to celebrating diverse musical styles and the rich cultural heritage of the African Diaspora.

Beyond the music, Afro Nation continues to foster meaningful connections and dialogue within the community. Last year’s festival included Homecoming Conversations, a series of discussions for industry professionals and artists on topics such as musical innovation and entrepreneurship. These conversations are expected to continue this year, providing a platform for growth and collaboration.

Afro Nation’s influence extends far beyond Detroit. The festival collaborates with BBC Radio 1xtra and the Official Charts Company to host a weekly UK Afrobeats Chart Show. In 2022, Afro Nation partnered with Billboard to present the first-ever U.S. Afrobeats Chart, further elevating the global presence of African music.

Detroit’s selection as the sole U.S. location for Afro Nation this year underscores the city’s vibrant cultural scene and historical importance. The Douglass Site, now known as Bedrock’s Douglass Site, stands as a symbol of Black resilience and achievement. Hosting Afro Nation here not only celebrates music but also honors the rich history and contributions of Detroit’s culture.

For those eager to be part of this extraordinary event, tickets for Afro Nation Detroit 2024 are available now at

As we draw closer to August 17-18, the anticipation is a testament to how much this event resonates with the community and beyond. It’s a reminder that Detroit’s soul has always been intertwined with the powerful rhythms and stories of Black culture.

This festival offers more than just a lineup of stellar performances—it provides a unique platform to honor the rich legacy of the African Diaspora. From the iconic Motown sound that shaped the 60s to the raw beats of today’s Afrobeat and Amapiano, Afro Nation is a tribute to the evolution of Black music and its profound impact on the world. It’s a space where past and present converge and where every beat tells a story of resilience and triumph.

Afro Nation Detroit 2024 is a call to reconnect with our roots and celebrate our future. Detroit, with its legendary musical legacy and deep-seated history, provides the perfect stage for this celebration. It’s a city that has given so much to the world in terms of music and culture, and Afro Nation is a fitting tribute to that legacy.

“Detroit is the home of gospel, techno Motown, the automotive industry, we have so much culture, when you think about the NFL draft even coming here, they saw something,” said local Afro Nation representative, Le Don. “The same thing Afro Nation saw about a year ago and having great partners with Bedrock. So, with that being said, it’s like, what other place to do it?”

So, as the dates approach, the excitement is not just about the music but about what Afro Nation represents: a powerful, ground-breaking celebration of unity, culture, and pride. Detroit, with its history and spirit, will once again serve as the heart of this significant gathering, bringing people together in a celebration that is as much about the past as it is about the future. This is Afro Nation Detroit 2024—an event that promises to be unforgettable, impactful, deeply meaningful, and filled with undeniably good vibes.


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