African Drum Village

The first and only drum festival in Scotland

Why do we do it and Whats it all about?

Why do we do it and whats it all about.

It started from a spark of an idea Mussa Sumo and Magatte Dieng talked about. Where a small village in UK would feel like an African Village a place people would come to meet and enjoy music, dance, song etc and exchange cultural ideals. We also wanted to have a festival that had a different feel  to it. And remove all of the things we hated about other festivals like noisy generators, chemical loos, grumpy crew! Ok we are not perfect but we are always open to improvement. We were the first festival of this kind to offer feedback forms.  We shortly became the model festival as a standard to work on. Helping the likes of Rhythm and Grooves and ABC festivals in planning etc.

Afrodisiac do it because we feel it is something that our culture is lacking. The need to share and create together. To see the joy on peoples faces throughout the week is something special. Its addictive....

So we call up teachers to come and pass on their skills and culture, the rest is down to those who come to participate  Chartwell Dutiro would say.....Its about building bridges between cultures. We say Its not about the drumming that makes ADV so special its about those who come and participate that make it unique. (The drumming is pretty good too!)

So many people go to festivals all over the world and in UK. Lots of ADV festies say that ADV is the best festival they have been to in the world! Its not the biggest festival or the fanciest. Its just organised by a group of friends who happen to love African music. All on a voluntary basis & none profit making.

History of ADV

In 1998 African drumming came to Angus when Steve Haden organised the first workshops in the region. As a result of these workshops Afrodisiac drumming group was born...

In January 2000 the first drumming event took place in Airlie Village hall a small hall on the outskirts of Kirriemuir, Angus.  We called the event Drum Spirit.

Groups from Edinburgh and the East coast of Scotland performed. The event was so popular there was no room to stand! Chairs and tables were the only places left to get a view of the performers.  We took a staggering 800 pounds on the door and realised there was an incredible demand for African music.

Around the same time of the workshops Steve and Magatte Dieng (co founder of world famous group with Youssou N'dour et le Super Etoile de Dakar) was invited to Angus on a regular basis to teach drumming

May 2000 we hosted the second Drum Spirit in Glen Isla village hall.

2001 Ade Sousou Wallace from Nigeria came to Scotland to host the workshops for the 3rd Drum Spirit

2002 Magatte Dieng taught and performed at the 4th Drum Spirit in Kirriemuir town hall

2003 Steve met Jally Kebba Suso paying Kora in the back of a shop in Broadstairs, Kent.

2003 Kirriemuir town hall hosted the 5th Drum Spirit.

Late 2003 Steve invited Magatte and Jally up to Angus to check out Glenisla as a suitable area to hold a festival. It had to feel like Africa. Both Magatte and Jally loved the vibe in the Glen...All we had to do now was to conjure up the guts to go for it!

August 2004 saw the first and only African Drum festival in Scotland. African Drum Village was born. Inspired by Mussa Sumo and Magatte Dieng the idea was to hold an event that felt like participants were visiting a small part of Africa. Afrodisiac with only 1000 quid decided to put on the best 2 day festival possible with the limited budget. Chartwell Dutiro a great friend of ours along with Magatte and Jally were booked to teach.

Sadly Magatte became seriously ill and regrettably never made it to African Drum Village. He will always be in our hearts.

The first day of the festival the BBC camera crew arrived and broadcast a 6min feature on the 6 oclock news. The next day saw a cavalcade of cars passing the quiet village of Glenisla bemused by this African Village in Angus. We quickly realised that this would easily work over a longer period as the number of bookings rocketed. Selling out before the festival ended!

2005 Afrodisiac hosted a 4 day ADV with more teachers booked to fill the demand for more workshops and disciplines in African instrumentation and Arts. We also had a full time dedicated Arts team Angus Arts to take care of the growing population of children at this family event.

2006 We went to 5 days and incorperated a chill out day in the middle to allow time for people to chat, mingle, re-charge their batteries. We turn the tables and have some traditional Scottish fare and sports with a ceilidh in the evening.

2007 We obtained festival status by UK borders and this enabled us to bring over arguably the greatest African master drummer. Famadou Konate from Guinea. We also had the Zawose family from Tanzania the siblings of the late great Hukwe Zawose who played with world class musicians like Peter Gabriel and played for many world leaders and politicians.

2010 Our 7th year for ADV and 11th gathering in total. With over 88 workshops and 22 teachers from all over Africa with some of the best evening shows you are likely to see.

2011 - Due to the economical climate the festival was on a slightly smaller scale but none the less a packed program of events 76 workshops. Zoolab visited on the chillout day with tropical creatures for everyone to see. The final day saw very heavy rain and in the evening the hall was festooned with bodies sleeping as rivers flooded tents!  whilst Moc played guitar and the tea cosy cafe gave out free hot chocolate and tea! Not a single complaint and a great spirit of togetherness often found at ADV.

2012- Possibly the best ever!  The field was looking very boggy, we all came to expect more rain. But much to our surprise the weather was great. Hardly any rain! We had some wonderful performances. Kakasitsi, Grassroots, Samba Sene, The Finale with Seckou keita band playing a unique and exclusive set from his forth coming album. There is too much to add you just had to be there to feel the atmosphere. Check out the testimonials for proof! 

2013- Our 10th birthday party! what an end to the current format of ADV. Very emotional with many people not wanting to go home. looking forward to a new beginning and chance to catch up on other festivals in 2014 our year off!  follow link to see the BBC NEWS report


Recent Blog Entries


  • "ADV 2012 was my 7th ADV and had to have been the most relaxed atmosphere yet. So many friends to catch up with but also some new friends who I hope were made to feel very welcom..."
    happy camper, crew, performer, taxi
  • "My first ADV and definately not my last. Felt practically horizontal for the whole week. Excellent vibe, lovely people, fantastic learning opportunities and inspiring performa..."
    Happy Festival Goer