Eastern Africa gears up for ONGEA! music summit

The second edition of ONGEA!, Eastern Africa’s music summit will be held at the Sarit Centre Expo Hall in Westlands, Nairobi from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 February, 2017 after a successful debut last year. 

H_Art the Band. Photo: KenyanVibe
H_Art the Band. Photo: KenyanVibe

Formerly the Kenya Music Week, the summit was rebranded after 10 years of bringing industry players together and opening up new markets. It is organized by PHAT! Music & Entertainment Limited.

This year the organizers intend to spark new innovations and content for regional and global players, through discussions, networking, knowledge transfers and new funding deals made possible by the collaborative environment provided by the summit.

In this vein, ONGEA! organizers have brought in their first festival booking agent, Jess White of Akum Agency who is the coordinator for the AZGO Festival in Maputo and has been instrumental in developing Igoda, an innovative circuit of music festivals in Southern Africa. From the open mic and showcase performances, White will identify talent suited for various festivals in Africa.

New and upcoming artists also have an opportunity to win a scholarship to Sauti Academy from their open mic performances taking place from 12.30pm to 2pm daily.

ONGEA! Will provide a platform for music industry players from Eastern Africa to trade, learn and showcase. There will be 58 exhibition stands, eight panel discussions and 32 performances. Participants will be drawn from local, regional and international practitioners.

The summit recognizes that the borders have blurred for Eastern African artists, with music being appreciated and supported beyond the individual artist’s home country, thus the rapid growth of regional music. The participating countries include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Reunion, Seychelles, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Sudan and Somalia.

The first edition of ONGEA! held in January 2016 drew 8 000 visitors and had 57 exhibition stands, eight topical industry panel discussions and 32 showcase performances. Notable achievements were the signing of H_Art the Band and Mswazzi Masauti to Austrian-based booking Agent, GLP; as well as Sauti Sol being booked to perform at the largest festival in Africa – Timitar, of Morocco – in July 2018.

Additionally, there were the launches of the Music Teachers Association of Kenya, Kidum’s new album, Hali Na Mali, and Tedd Josiah’s new record label, SwaRnB.

For organizations and individuals interested in exhibiting, there are six gold stands going for KSh17 000 (sold out), 23 platinum stands at KSh19 000 and 28 diamond stands at KSh21 000.




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