Organisers of the Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar have confirmed that prominent Tanzanian music ensemble Yamato Band will not be performing at the festival this year following a communication breakdown between the group’s management and the festival.
“Although Yamoto Band was announced earlier this year as part of the festival line-up, Busara has canceled their agreement with the band after several failed attempts to reach the band’s management in a timely manner,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.
Busara Promotions, who organise the popular festival, say it is disappointing that many talented artists lack professional communication skills.
"There is so much music talent in Tanzania, but often these gifted artists are let down by a lack of promotional material and unprofessional managers who do not respond to email, refuse to sign contracts, fail to show up for meetings or answer phone calls,” said Yusuf Marmoud, head of Busara Promotions.
The festival has always prided itself on setting high standards for professionalism within the music industry, offering guidance for those new to the field.
Busara Promotions noted that Journey Ramadhan, festival manager, made a concerted effort to ensure that Yamoto Band would feature at the festival this year but that did not help. A scheduled meeting in Dar es Salaam to confirm details was thwarted when the manager said that he was out of town and could not keep the appointment.
"To truly shine a light on Tanzania’s musical talents, we need managers to facilitate communication with respect to musicians so they can show off their talents and make Tanzania proud. It is absolutely essential that artists who participate in international festivals know how to communicate professionally through email,” said Ramadhan.
Meanwhile, Marmoud has called on artists and their managers to use Sauti za Busara as a platform for professional growth, citing the ways in which the team provides support for marketing and promotion.
“The event is more than just a festival, but also a platform to enhance the profession and set higher standards for communication between artists, managers and organizers who converge for the four-day musical extravaganza.”
Now, in its 14th edition, Sauti za Busara is scheduled to kick off from 9 – 12 February 2017 at the Old Fort and Forodhani Gardens at the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania.