Nkhotakota Festival was started in 2014 by initiative of the Cultural Center at Nkhotakota Youth Organization (http://www.nkkyo.com/service/culturalcentre/ ).

The festival was initiated with a wish to contribute to the cultural activities in the local community, and to add to the existing cultural activities organized by the Cultural Center. It was also started to create a space for young artists to express themselves and show their talents, and to inspire by bringing nationally known musicians together with local musicians on one stage. All potential profit goes back to the Nkhotakota Cultural Center, where local youth can get free music, arts and dance lessons, and attend different cultural events. The festival also focuses on being available to the local audience, by reducing the prices for local attendees.

In 2014 the Nkhotakota Music Festival was a two-day festival, with bands like Konkazali, George Kalukusha, Neil and the New Vibration and Menes La Plume. Since then we have had musical acts like Lusubilo band, Faith Mussa, Etoile de Paix and our own house band Zebra band, and the festival has alternated between lasting one and two days, and at different venues. It has also grown to become bigger and more well-known across Malawi the latest years, and gone from being a local initiative to attracting national and international visitors.

More than just an addition to the Malawian cultural scene, Nkhotakota Music Festival also tries to focus on important issues, such as gender equality, health and education. The prime example of the conscious effort of the festival is the presence of health personnel to assist in the testing of HIV/Aids in a remote section of the festival grounds.

The festival is mainly funded by Flora Upper Secondary School, based in Norway. Through a student project, the students themselves are responsible for hosting fundraisers in order to make the festival a reality.

In 2020 the Nkhotakota Music Festival will once again be hosted by Nkhotakota Youth Organisation, at their Cultural Centre.