Faced with a lack of funds, the Sauti za Busara festival (SzB) cancelled its 13th edition which was to take place in 2016. Anticipation is now building up ahead of the festival's comeback event in Zanzibar, Tanzania from 9 - 12 February 2017.
The festival organisers were met with hundreds of applications when they made a call for participation in April.
“After receiving a record-breaking 600 applications from groups keen to participate," said an official press release, "organizers have now made their selections and guarantee February will see the hottest line up of African musicians ever brought together in the East Africa region. Full details of artists performing at next years edition will be announced in October 2016.”
The focus and theme for the 2017 edition is Africa United. “The main aim of Sauti za Busara is to bring people from different backgrounds together, to celebrate the richness and diversity of African music," says festival director Yusuf Mahmoud. "The festival showcases live music only, that’s original and innovative, with positive messages for society that will bring energy and excitement on stage. Whether it’s more acoustic or electric, the festival gives priority to music with cultural identity."
Movers and shakers program
Sauti za Busara is more than just a music platform. Through its Movers and Shakers program, the festival provides an opportunity for stakeholders to connect, network and exchange ideas. In 2017 the festival will host discussions that are focused on opportunities and challenges available in the digital world. With the 2016 IFPI digital report showing that digital music sales have finally overtaken physical sales, Sauti za Busara notes that for any artist, understanding how to maximize on the opportunities that abound in the digital music market is key to a successful career.
The session dubbed ‘Digital Opportunities, Challenges and Threats’ will therefore seek to enable session participants benefit from expertise in the areas of copyrights, digitization, global music markets and information technology in general. Because musicians often finding themselves at the forefront of popular movements, or as a voice for people who are otherwise silenced SzB will host another discussion on Freedom of Expression versus. Arts Censorship.
The Sauti za Busara music festival features a rich variety of African music from the eastern region with musicians participating over four days in the historic Stone Town supplemented with fringe events around town and across the island.
For more information about the 2017 edition visit the Sauti za Busara website.