The Lake of Stars Project was set up in 2003 to attract more international visitors to Malawi, taking inspiration from events like WOMAD and Glastonbury.  The festival acts as a vehicle to promote Malawi as a tourist destination, generating revenue and increasing awareness of this beautiful country and it's vibrant culture. Having won the Malawi Tourism Award in its first year, the festival has grown to become one of the best known on the African continent, attracting travellers from all over the world.

As the leading international festival in Malawi, Lake of Stars also provides local artists with a unique platform to showcase their art to a global audience, as well as attracting high profile names to perform from across the world, often for the first time in Africa. Previous international performers include Andy Cato (Groove Armada), Beverley Knight, Bombay Bicycle Club, Christian Tiger School, Felix B (Basement Jaxx), Foals, Freshlyground, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, John Wizards, The Maccabees, Mafikizolo, Major Lazer Soundsytem, Mary Anne Hobbs, Mokoomba, Nick Mulvey, The Noisettes, Oliver Mtukudzi, Reason, Ric Hassani, Sauti Sol, Seth Lakeman, Sway, Toya Delazy, Uhuru, YADi, DJ Yoda, Young Fathers, Zone Fam and many more.
Alongside the flagship festival, the Lake of Stars Project has produced a number of other cultural events including the Children’s Future Festival, Lilongwe Shorts film festival and Island in the Sky festival in Malawi, and UK editions of Lake of Stars in London and Glasgow festivals in the UK. 
Find out more about our other projects.

Lake of Stars Festival will be taking a short break from the shores of Lake Malawi in 2020 for only the third time since the festival began. We’ll continue to develop and support new projects to enrich Malawi’s tourism and creative industries during this time and continue to work to promote Malawian artists internationally, helping to further raise the profile of the country’s vibrant cultural sector.



Will first visited Malawi in 1998 when he worked in Dwangwa as a volunteer with the Wildlife Society for 6 months. On returning to England he took with him a souvenir – an empty carton of Chibuku Shake Shake beer. Whilst at university in Liverpool he started a club-night with friends named after the Malawian beer, which went on to win Best UK Club in the Mixmag Awards in 2004. It was in this same year that the first Lake of Stars Festival took place in Malawi co-produced with Harry Gibbs and Chris Badger, headlined by Andy Cato from Groove Armada.


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"No mud, no rain, no queues – the Lake of Stars festival is a music extravaganza with a difference."

– The Guardian

"…be ahead of the crowd and get acquainted with Malawian music in situ… great music, friendly people, and a beautiful location. Get there before everyone else does"

– Wanderlust magazine

"Known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’ because of the incredibly friendly and welcoming locals, combined with a rich musical history, Malawi couldn’t be a better place to hold a festival... a paradise awaits when you arrive"

– Virtual Festivals

"a three-day event that unites both mainstream and niche Malawian acts with some of the most exciting contemporary African musicians around."

– The Mail & Guardian

"One of Africa’s most respected music festivals"


"the ability of this festival to inspire the young people who attend is pretty special"

– Vice Magazine