Concerts SA (CSA) is a joint South African-Norwegian project housed under the auspices of the Stakeholder Hub within the SAMRO Foundation. It receives support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SAMRO and Concerts Norway. By engaging with musicians, promoters, venue owners and audiences, the project aims to stimulate live music in South Africa by finding and implementing ways to create regular, sustainable performance platforms. CSA also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools. Activities are designed in response to working and researching in the music sector, addressing the biggest hurdles standing between South African audiences and regular, accessible, well-organised local live music performances. Sustainable live music platforms provide employment for musicians who are historically prone to exploitation, and the circuits provide valuable opportunities for creative collaboration
Concerts SA focuses on the promotion and stimulation of live music in South Africa through hosting and staging concerts with South African, SADC and Norwegian artists in public and school concert circuits in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Circuits are being established in both urban and rural areas of the three regions during the first three years, and expansion to other provinces will subsequently be introduced. Through a process of research as well as consultation with the Concerts SA Advisory Panel and other roleplayers active in the live music scene, CSA has selected and partnered with a network of venues and promoters to implement the programme in the three provinces. Funding support with these partners is based on a subsidy model which includes support towards technical hire, publicity and promotion, supplementing musicians’ fees, transport costs, and co-ordination fees.
The selection of the supported projects is made by the Concerts SA Project Team and is based on the track record of the professionals involved, the quality of the proposal, and its alignment with the project’s overall objectives. The project’s current partner venues are varied in the styles of music showcased, with performances showcasing jazz-oriented sounds, ‘world music’, Afro-jazz fusion, and occasionally indigenous/traditional music. The selection of artists performing at Concerts SA subsidized events is collectively made through consultation between venues, promoters and the Project Team, with the weighting of selection balanced in favour of venue owners who know their clientele. To participate in the programme, artists are encouraged to contact our partner venues and promoters directly for inclusion in the programme, and they in turn submit proposals to the Concerts SA Project Team.