Click here to download Busara Promotions’ Five Year Strategic Plan 2019 – 2024
For more information about the NGO behind the festival, see organisation page
The Festival, in brief
Sauti za Busara [Swahili, Sounds of Wisdom] is an annual pan-African music festival organised by Busara Promotions, a non-governmental, non-profit organisation registered in Zanzibar. Whilst providing platforms for celebrating cultural pluralism, the event offers employment opportunities in an East African music industry that is connected and in exchange with other regions.
- 18th edition: 12 – 13 February 2021
- Times: 4pm till 1am
- Main venue: Old Fort, Stone Town, Zanzibar
- The 2021 Festival Campaign is Mazingira Yetu Maisha Yetu (Our Environment, Our Life)
- For the well-being of artists, visitors, the local population and all involved, additional safety measures will be in place.
Generous discounts are offered for Tanzanian citizens, African nationals and EAC residents.
Please browse photos from past festivals:
Permission is granted to use photos from this website FREE OF CHARGE, when:
- the image is used in the context of “promoting Sauti za Busara festival” and/or
- reporting an organisation’s sponsorship of the festival and
- the respective individual photographer(s) are credited.
Hi-res copies for print publication are available on request, but may be subject to a licence fee.
facts & figures
- Sauti za Busara is Swahili for “Sounds of Wisdom”
- 4 days and nights
- 400 artists
- 40 groups
- 70% East African music
- 100% live
- 28,000 audience over 4 days
- 70% East African audience
- Visitors attend from across Africa, Europe and beyond
- 55% female audience
- 50% aged 18 – 35
- $120 visitors’ price (all festival)
- $60 African Citizens’ price (all festival)
- 20,000/- TSh ($9) Tanzanians’ price (all festival)
- ‘one of Africa’s best and most respected music events’ (BBC)
Sauti za Busara unites people of all backgrounds in celebration of African music. The festival showcases ‘100% live’ music from East Africa and across the continent, whilst building respect for cultural diversity and promoting local livelihoods. It has also provided a valuable platform for emerging artists from the region to launch their international careers.
The unique mix of artists and audiences at Sauti za Busara are the key to its success. Young, local and emerging talents are showcased alongside established acts. 400 groups from 40 countries performed over the years, including Nneka (Nigeria), BCUC (South Africa), Blitz the Ambassador (Ghana/USA), Bassekou Kouyate (Mali), Bi Kidude (Zanzibar), Cheikh Lo (Senegal), Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Ebo Taylor (Ghana), Alikiba (Tanzania), Didier Awadi (Senegal), DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra (Tanzania), Sarabi (Kenya), Samba Mapangala (DRC), Jagwa Music (Tanzania) and many more.
BBC World Service hails Sauti za Busara as‘one of Africa’s best and most respected music events’.
It’s also included in CNN’s list of ‘7 African music festivals you really have to see’.
Skills-training and capacity-building are key elements at the festival, especially targeted for East African artists, managers and technicians. In recent years, the event offered training in stage lighting, sound engineering, stage management, audience safety and security, press and marketing skills.
Through the year, Sauti za Busara works in partnership with Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA), offering opportunities for local and international musicians to meet, learn and create. Results from these collaborations are performed on main stage under the title of Swahili Encounters.
The festival also hosts Movers & Shakers, a popular daily forum for local and visiting artists, managers, media and related professionals to meet, network, exchange information and ideas.
Busara Xtra is an umbrella for externally-organised events, also of interest to visitors. These offer additional opportunities for local artists to showcase their work and encourage visitors to see more of the islands.
We recommend visitors book well in advance.