Syncosradio Africa

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Call for artists & partners: Sauti za Busara 2016

Every year during February, Sauti za Busara sets Zanzibar ablaze with African music, 100% live. Stone Town is literally buzzing with energy and excitement as 5000 people attend the festival daily – or 20 000 over four days. Audiences from assorted backgrounds join in celebration. Besides the 70% East African audiences, visitors also attend from across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Australia and Japan. The festival is accessible for local communities, with admission free for Tanzanian nationals until 5pm. After then, daily tickets cost US$1.50 for local citizens or $25 for international visitors.

Needless to say, Sauti za Busara brings a huge boost for the local economy, whilst offering employment and training in the cultural sector. In preparation for the 2016 edition of Sauti za Busara, the organisers Busara Promotions have issued a called for artists who wish to perform at the festival, as well as a call for partners, for anyone interested in investing in the event.

Call for Artists

Sauti za Busara promotes respect for cultural diversity. To date the festival has featured bands from more than 36 countries in Africa, including Bassekou Kouyate (Mali), Nneka (Nigeria), Blitz the Ambassador (Ghana/USA), Natacha Atlas(Egypt/UK), Thandiswa Mazwai (South Africa), Alikiba, Nadi Ikhwan Safaa and DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra (Tanzania),Samba Mapangala (DRC), Tcheka (Cape Verde), Didier Awadi (Senegal), Orchestre Poly Rythmo (Benin), Tumi & the Volume (South Africa) and many more.

Typically their office receives over 500 artists’ applications every year. Of these, 40 groups are finally selected to participate at the festival. Around 50% are from Tanzania, with others representing the wider African continent and diaspora. Young, local and emerging talents are showcased alongside established acts. Sauti za Busara showcases quality African music, acoustic and electric, giving priority to music with cultural identity, local instruments and rhythms.

To apply for a possible place at Sauti za Busara 2016, simply complete the application form and post a copy of your recordings (CD and/or DVD) to reach Busara Promotions before 31 July 2015. The selection committee will meet in August if the festival goes ahead and all applicants will be notified of the outcomes by email before September.

Call for Partners

Sauti za Busara aims to be more sustainable, with funding coming from international donors (35%), commercial sponsors (40%) and self-generated revenue (25%). Despite its continued success, however, raising funds for the festival is increasingly challenging every year. Visitors to Zanzibar during February have risen by more than 500% since Sauti za Busara began. Hotels are fully booked and local traders are smiling. The organisers therefore believe it’s time for hotels, airlines, banks, phone companies and other stakeholders operating in Zanzibar to come on board to help keep Sauti za Busara alive and moving forwards.

Email them at if your organisation is interested to partner with Sauti za Busara to set up a ‘win-win’ partnership that works for you as well as for the festival. Marketing benefits start immediately for all festival partners, and your support for the festival will be seen globally by millions online in the Sauti za Busara newsletter, website and facebook pages, on TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines, at festival venues and all around East Africa on street banners, posters and other advertising.

Sponsor packages are available at all levels – from US$1000 to $100k. Alternatively, you can simply click here to safely contribute donations in multiples of US$20. Every cent helps in keeping the festival alive and accessible for the people of Tanzania.

The dates for Sauti za Busara 2016 will be announced immediately on confirmation of available funds. The line-up including confirmed artists and events for Sauti za Busara 2016 will be announced in October 2015. See the festival website or facebook pages for updates.