With a commanding view over the River Gambia, Fort Bullen was built in 1826 by the British in order to put an end to slaving in The Gambia. In conjunction with an opposing gun battery across the river, the forts heavy cannons prevented slaving ships from entering the river, following the abolition of the slave trade in Britain.
Following the cessation of the slave trade, the fort was abandoned by the British, and remained unused until the Second World War, when it was briefly occupied by the British again, to guard against any threat from Senegal.
The traces of its history remain rusted in place, with old anti-aircraft gun emplacements lying dormant on the Fort’s turrets and ancient cannons watching over the now peaceful River.
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, the Fort has only recently seen life return to it’s walls. It is now home to a museum showcasing the important role the fort played on the war against slavery.
The Fort makes a perfect location for the festival which celebrates the very culture it was first built to protect.