Initially launched by Reunion Island in 2010, the Liberté Métisse Festival is a colourful cultural event that celebrates the abolition of slavery whilst honoring this unique French Indian Ocean island’s rich history, roots and cultural mix. It is a joint celebratory collaboration with the Comores, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, Madagascar and the Seychelles – collectively known as the Vanilla Islands.
The 7th edition of the Liberté Métisse Festival will take place in the west of the island from 16 to 18 December 2016 in Etang-Salé-les-Bains with the theme "When China meets Africa". Exhibitors ranging from street artists to artisan coffee growers and roasters, geranium oil producers and hand-craft jewellers will set up shop to share their wares with visitors from all over the world, while musical acts take to the stage to entertain the festival-goers with their irresistible traditional Maloya beats, and music from other parts of the region.
With China and South Africa attending as the guest countries of honour, this year’s festival will enjoy a stellar line up of performances taking to the stage and one of the highlights is the inclusion of South African performers from the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble. Buskaid is a charitable trust that assists young black musicians from South African townships to channel their creative energies and talents through learning and playing classical music to the highest international standards. Also from South Africa, Cape Town’s Siyabuya Marimba Band will be serenading audiences with their traditional South African melodies mixed with jazz and pop. The Festival Liberté Métisse on Reunion Island certainly provides the right platform in which to showcase these talented South African artists.
The three days of the Festival Liberté Métisse, or the festival of cultural heritage, is a unifying event that celebrates Reunion Island as a land of freedom and a place where a combination of cultures live together harmoniously. A celebration of an island that surprises all who are lucky enough to visit, with its natural beauty, diversity of landscapes and attractions, and where the local people proudly embrace their uniqueness, diverse customs and island way of life.
With Reunion Island as backdrop for the Festival, visitors will be left wanting to return again and again. With close to half of the island classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and covering a total area of more than 2500km², Reunion Island is the ultimate destination for discovery, diverse scenery, a vibrant culture and thrilling activities. A jewel waiting to be discovered!