Call for applications: Zimfest London 2015

One of the most popular African festivals in the UK, Zimfest London will be held on Saturday 26 September 2015 at Studio Spaces, a unique warehouse venue in the heart of London. And the organisers are looking for both artists and staff to help ensure the event’s success.

UK-based Zimbabwean artist Thabo Mkwananzi at the 2013 Zimfest. Photo: Facebook
UK-based Zimbabwean artist Thabo Mkwananzi at the 2013 Zimfest. Photo: Facebook

Zimfest was established in 2001 by a diverse group of Zimbabweans based in the UK. From humble beginnings on a field behind a prison in Wandsorth in south-west London, the celebration has come to feature social rugby, soccer and cricket tournaments and an array of fun for the whole family in what is now known to be one of the friendliest events in London. Zimfest offers a place for Zimbabweans in the UK to respect each other’s differences while embracing and enjoying the things they love - food, sport, and music - to take everyone ‘home’ for a day. The festival also welcomes anyone who has been to or has an interest in Zimbabwe. Funds raised are channelled towards supporting Zimbabwe in the following areas: freedom of expression, community development and human rights.

Zimfest has grown to become one of the biggest African festivals, attracting thousands around the globe in a uniquely African celebration. Besides London, Zimfest celebrations have taken place in Cape Town, Perth, Brisbane, Oslo and Harare, attracting Zimbabweans as well as locals in a truly multicultural celebration of Zimbabwean and African music and culture.

Zimfest London returns on Saturday 26 September and this year the organisers have made a few changes. They have secured an amazing warehouse venue in the heart of London that allows for three perfect arenas to host the festival’s music and exhibition stages. The Main Stage will largely be reserved for bands; the Second Stage which will be for DJs and EDM producers with a sprinkling of live peformances, while the Third Stage will host spoken word and acoustic acts.

Call for artists

To fill these stages, the organisers are looking to make the radical shift from having a purely Zimbabwean focused line-up to having a global presence focused largely on having some of the most innovative and fresh talent from around the world blended in with some of the best Zimbabwean talent. They are doing so with the belief that in order for talented Zimbabweans to grow and gain exposure globally, they need to exist and compete not in isolation but alongside the rest of the world.

They are looking for applications from (or suggestions of): bands, singers, rappers, DJs, producers, visual artists, poets, comedians, magicians, dancers, writers, filmmakers and actors, etc.

These acts should preferably be UK based or in the UK at the time. Acts do not have to be Zimbabwean. The only conditions are that they should be talented and innovative, have some experience and ideally have a some kind of public profile or following.

Call for staff

Off the stages, the organisers are also looking to establish a new team to help run the event, specifically:

  • An artsy type to sort out the show: Responsible for sorting out who and what they put on stage and how it's all presented on the day. Preferably someone who has some experience in the area, who knows what works and what doesn't, and can help put the show together on the day.
  • A techy type to sort out production: Responsible for the technical elements of the show. Sourcing and hiring all the equipment required, making sure that it all arrives and is set up on time, making sure it all works to the required standard on the day and also responsible for recruiting and managing the stage managers.
  • An iphone-toting hipster to sort out advertising and design: Responsible for coordinating all the advertising and design of all the advertising and promotional material for the event as well as taking care of the design of the merchandise that will be made available.
  • Someone relatively sober with a good palate to sort out booze and snacks: Responsible for sorting out the bar and catering for the event, from selection to sourcing and through to the contract arrangements and ensuring that everything is efficient and well-presented on the day. The Zimfest organisers are willing to discuss partnering with bar owners or suppliers.
  • A slightly geeky word-smith to keep the website up to date: Responsible for keeping the Zimfest website up to date with all the latest and relevant updates on the event as well as for the production of blog content to provide insights into Zimfest for friends and supporters

If you think you have the skills to pick up one of these roles in the Zimfest London team, contact the organers by emailing london@zimfestlife.com.You don't have to be a Zimbo or hugely experienced to get in touch - just be able to demonstrate that you can be enthusiastic and effective. Please note these are voluntary roles, with some incentives. For more details, visit the Zimfest website.

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