The First Alté Culture Festival Centered Nigeria’s Emerging Creative Leaders
Last month, young Nigerians assembled at Muri Okunola Park, Lagos for the first Alté Culture Festival.The term “Alté” was first used in 2014, after the success of the DRB LasGidi song “Paper.” It has now grown into a prominent subculture, spearheading into fashion and music. Alté means alternative, and it is everything that goes against the traditional ideology held by society.
Since the emergence of the subculture, gatherings like Native Land, Street Souk, and Homecoming Festival have been used to spotlight some of the brightest minds leading the subculture. The Alté Culture Festival joins this caliber of gatherings. Lady Donli, Wavy The Creator, Falana, and Prettyboy D.O served as headliners. Alongside these household names, the festival also introduced indie artists like Rigo Camp, Y9sir, Maka, Arb Music Band, and more.
“Since our theme was alternative, we were deliberate on everyone we brought on board for the festival. The indie artists were handpicked because they have alternative styles to their music. One of the essences of the festival was to promote,” Eunice Adeyemi, the creative director of Q21 Solutions, the brain behind the Alté Culture Festival, told OkayAfrica.
Before the Alté Culture Festival, Q21 Solutions has successfully executed a handful of significant events in Nigeria, such as AMVCA (African Magic Viewer Choice Awards), Jameson Connect, and Martell House. The event planning brand has, over time, been exposed to a large audience of young people and the older generation.
“We saw the growing need to have a platform that embodies the authentic and alternative way of doing things in music, fashion, and so on,” Adeyemi said. “We needed to get the society without much an alteration to the norm but Sui Generis in style. This ingenuity in thoughts led to the name.”
The festival also premiered WTF is Alté, a documentary that examines the culture and sensibilities of the alté movement by speaking to those leading the wave. Kaffy, Nigeria’s celebrity dance instructor, gave an energetic performance. Fire-eaters were a side attraction.
The 11-hour festival spent its early hour gathering street style and fashion enthusiasts, from all-black ensembles, camouflage prints, headgears, silted and baggy pants, afro hairstyles, excess accessories, and nude paintings. The festival was oozing unconventional at its peak.
Here were more highlights from the first Alté Culture Festival.
A Standout Set From Falana
Following an array of performances from indies, Falana opened the festival properly at around 9.00 pm. She opened with an acapella of popular music to stir up the crowd before delivering a handful of her songs. With her backup singers, the singer enthralled the crowd with fan favorites like “Ride or Die,” “Sweet Adetola,” and “Electric Lady.”
The Rage of Lady Donli and The Lagos Panic
In 2021, Lady Donli introduced the world to her four-member live band, The Lagos Panic. At the Alte Culturé Festival, the band came out to shine. Bandleader Lady Donli, adorned in a completely sheer outfit, began her performance with full serenity which later evolved into an over-the-top rage. Her moniker — as “The Pan African Rockstar” — was on full display. In addition, she graced the festival with an unreleased song titled “Problem no dey finish.” The highlight of Donli’s performance was her closing number, treating fans to her latest single “Thunderstorm In Surulere.”
Prettyboy D.O’s Energy
Prettyboy D.O was fueled with energy at the festival. Ever since the young maverick stormed the alté scene in 2017, he continues to put fans in a chokehold with his music. In an all-white ensemble and multicolored bucket hat, he pulled out songs across his three albums that resonated with the audience.
Halfway into his remaining performance, we learned that this was Prettyboy D.O’s first-ever live band performance. To wrap up, he settled for his 2019 club hit “Dey Go Hear Wehh“ which immediately put fans in a frenzy.
Wavy the Creator’s Versatility
Wavy the Creator is no stranger to the alté scene. More than just an alternative musician, her versatility as a photographer, writer, artist, and designer has sealed her multidisciplinary status. The highlight of her time on stage was a performance with WorlD, where they performed their 2021 collaboration “Harmonies.” The duet gave the audience a sneak peek of what Wurld had in store for them later.
WurlD The Headliner
Minutes after midnight, WurlD, dressed in a jacket and matching pants, took the stage to deliver his performance. At this point, fans had been anticipating his presence. The headliner started his performance with the viral hit “Show You Off.” One very distinct thing about WurlD’s moment on stage was his interaction with the fans, where at various moments he would serenade the crowd. The highlight came during his performance of the Davido hit “Sweet in the Middle,” which had a majority of the crowd singing blissfully.
Scroll down to see some more photos from the first ever Alté Culture Festival.