Kilifi NYE 2018/19 – The Only Way to Ever Spend Your New Years

The sun is out, the music pumping, your head can’t help but jam to the catchy beats under the gigantic baobab tree. The crowd is excited, anticipating the new year, 2019. The dates for the concert were 29th December -2nd January 2019. The setup is reminiscent of a cool desert concert, you even take a second to remind yourself you are near the beach.

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People from all over the globe travel to Kenya for the annual concert. All roads lead to Kilifi for young and old. The reason? To usher in a new year in an unforgettable setting with amazing people.

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Young and old had an amazing time


Max Melesi on stage

Located in Kilifi town on the coast of Kenya and set beside the wild and stunning Takaungu Creek on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Beneath the Baobabs is a wild and magical 20-acre jungle site developed into a fully functional event space capable of hosting events of up to 10,000 people.

The site featured three stages, several hundred square meters of decks hanging over the valley’s edge under giant baobabs, two bars, a range of accommodation options from camping to accommodation at the Distant Relatives hotel.

Kilifi New Year University

This year, Kilifi New Year launched the Kilifi University. It is a platform designed for all to feel welcome regardless of their age, gender, skin colour, nationality, sexual orientation or economic status – where we feel richer thanks to our diversity.

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Ciru Muriuki ready for her class

It is designed for promoting the holistic living and wellness movement in Kenya as well as a space for debates, workshops and conversations on topics relating to the above values and ethos. Ciru Muriuki, popular radio personality also spoke.

The new year bash!!!

The anticipation was real by the time the clock struck 11pm. On the main stage was LA Dave who kept everybody on their feet. At the Umojah stage,. it was Gato Preto and in the hidden Valley, Allan Strange. All perfect selections to ring in the new year.

Once the countdown was on, the music could make anybody go completely mental!! The stages were lit!!!


The Burning Man

The main goal of the event is to promote more sustainable living while bringing together the community of Kilifi, East Africa, and the rest of the world – all gathered around an emotionally moving spectacle. This year, the burn was all about commemorating Sudan, the last living male white rhino.

Unfortunately, he died on March 20th, 2018 at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds.
With options running out, these species will go extinct unless scientists develop “artificial reproductive techniques” (or ARTs), including IVF to rescue this subspecies. To that end, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Dvůr Králové Zoo are now partnering with IZW Berlin, Embryo Plus, Avantea Cremona and the Kenya Wildlife Service. So as to try and conduct the first-ever procedure to safely remove egg cells from the remaining female Northern White rhinos. To fertilize these with semen previously collected from Northern White males, and insert the resulting embryos into female Southern White Rhinos acting as surrogates.


To commemorate Sudan, a giant half man half rhino was created to highlight the importance of how we all need to do our part to preserve all creatures great and small.

At exactly 11.00pm on 1st January, the burn procession began. All music stopped as everybody was directed to the massive crater where the image stood.

Painted dancers added zest and life to the ceremony as it was slowly lit up. This was definitely a fete that took months to create. It will definitely create a lasting impression on the hundreds of attendees.

The event came to an end on 2nd January, but I can tell you one thing, I do not regret spending my new years in Kilifi, beneath the baobabs.




Easter Weekend is coming up!

Get your Kilifi roots festival super early bird tickets at only ksh. 2000 ASAP and get ready for an amazing Easter weekend.

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