Afro Celt Sound System
It will be a very welcome return for Afro Celt Sound System featuring our Festival Patron, Johnny Kalsi, on Sunday 6th August 2023 who last appeared at Wickham in 2019.
Afro Celt Sound System are among the pioneers of the contemporary world music scene. Their ground-breaking fusion of African, Gaelic and Bhangra influenced sounds has won the hearts and minds of audiences since the group’s beginnings over 25 years ago. With album sales now topping more than one and a half million, two Grammy nominations to date and tours all around the world, they are the legendary afro-celtic band bringing spirits and music from different cultures together to a breath-taking show.
In 1995, The first Afro Celt Sound System album was released to great critical acclaim. To quote Real World Records:
“The world’s press waxed superlative: “a hurricane let loose” declared Q Magazine. “Hearing is believing,” announced Mojo. “Heady, heartfelt music,” proclaimed the Wall Street Journal. Word of mouth spread. A host of imitators soon began crossing cultural boundaries, bent on embracing the future without losing sight of the past. None of them, of course, caught the essence of Afro Celts. Much copied, they were never surpassed. “ The group went on to release 8 studio albums in total, becoming one of Real World Records top selling artistes of all time.”
In March 2023, ACSS founder Simon Emmerson sadly passed away after prolonged illness. Simon founded the ground breaking group and was the driving force in it’s innovative genre defying recordings and live shows. His loss will be felt for many years by both the band and their fans alike. Simon was steadfast in his belief that the band should continue after his passing, and had been working on the next album for some time. The New Album OVA (short for Ovate, and the Afro Celt Symbol) will be released in Simon’s memory at the end of 2023.