April 2017 theme: Live music in Africa

Live performances are where the real magic happens. Much like theatre when compared to film and television, live music is the purist’s domain, where artistic determination, musical chops and imaginative recital come together to give listeners a complete package of sensory pleasure. For most musicians, too, the live performance is the biggest prize: it is often the culmination of years of writing, months in the studio and even an entire career spanning decades. As they say, you’re only as good as your last show.

Morocco's Bob Maghrib during the 2017 Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar.  Photo: MIA
Morocco's Bob Maghrib during the 2017 Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar. Photo: MIA

For many artists, live music is also the only means of putting food on the table. With the rise of piracy and the demise of physical sales, recording artists can no longer rely solely on selling albums to make a living from music. In fact, recordings have almost exclusively become promotional tools that artists employ to get people to see them live.

When the Northern Hemisphere (Europe and the US) falls into winter slumber every year, Africa becomes the epicentre of live music on the planet. Festivals become playgrounds for locals and tourists alike, while the continent’s cultural capitals and their live venues feature events that are as unique as the cities that host them. It’s no wonder that many international festivals, particularly those in the US and Australia, have begun mimicking the aesthetics seen at music events around Africa.

Music In Africa now provides readers with an array of information about the African live music scene. Apart from our specially commissioned Overview Texts on the live music scenes of various countries, we also preview and review the best gigs and festivals on the continent. Our Directory of Events, Venues and Event Supplies, as well as our Magazine section, help to spread awareness of the opportunities in the live music sector in Africa.

Below are some helpful links related to live music on the continent – with plenty more to come as the month progresses. So make sure you check in every day to see what interesting information we have compiled for you.

Overview texts

How To articles


Africa live music news & features

Music In Africa directory


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