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.
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.
- The live music scene in Gabon
- The live music scene in Lesotho
- The live music scene in Sierra Leone
- The live music scene in Zambia
- The live music scene in Swaziland
- The live music scene in Mauritius
- The live music scene in Chad
- The live music scene in Eritrea
How To articles
- Call for applications: Chale Wote Festival
- Call for applications: Sauti za Busara festival
- Call for applications: Fête de la Musique 2017
Africa live music news & features
- 'Last Tour' for White Zulu
- Diamond Platnumz to replace Tekno at Zambian festival
- Joy of Jazz celebrates 20 years
- Southern, West African musicians to shine at Africa Day concert
- Notes on the second Freetown Music Festival
- Lake Turkana Festival is back
- Kenyan artists to hold tribute concert for drought victims
- From Star Wars to Donkey Kong, SA orchestra redefines classical space
- Vanessa Mdee, Sauti Sol to thrill Lagos at Gidi Fest
- Joss Stone, Najee to headline Runway Jazz in Lagos
- Hugh Masekela, Jah Prayzah, others added to Bushfire line-up
- Madagascar, SA, Swiss project touring Southern Africa
- Nyege Nyege, Felabration voted world’s best new festivals
Music In Africa directory