Busara through the years 2011

Busara through the year

Organizing the festival is a 13-month operation for the small team at Busara Promotions. In realising our vision to see a vibrant East African music industry, prominent on the world stage, there’s always more to do throughout the year to keep on track in implementing our Five Year Strategic Plan.
2011 has been jam-packed full of exciting new projects: from fostering new regional networks, managing international touring for local artists, to organizing Zanzibar ngoma drumming auditions. These are just some of the highlights we’ve been up to since the last festival…

Black Roots band to Reunion
Blown away by an outstanding performance at Sauti za Busara 2011, we nominated Black Roots
(Zanzibar) to perform at the Indian Ocean Music Fiesta in Reunion Island. June 2011 saw Black Roots’ international debut – by all accounts a great success!

Building audiences
DJ Yusuf & the Routes in Rhythm sound systems have been busily spinning dance music from around the world at events around the islands and beyond and since October have enjoyed a solid following for the monthly residency spot at Kendwa Rocks Full Moon Parties.
Kendwa party photo

Mentoring in Sudan
In June, Yusuf visited Khartoum with support from British Council, to mentor upcoming arts managers in reviving the Khartoum International Music Festival, which successfully took place last October.
Photo caption:Yusuf mentoring in Sudan.

Busara online
Regular updates on twitter, Facebook and busara’s website www.busaramusic.org with information in English and Swahili have been well received, with our website now receiving over 2 million hits a month, and rising.

Building Networks
In September Busara Promotions traveled to Bayimba Festival, Kampala where we hosted a two-day conference for 15 venues and promoters from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda to lay foundations for East Africa Performing Arts Circuit (EAPAC). Exciting plans are underway for touring local, regional and international artists during 2012 and beyond.
Busara Promotions continues to be an active member in the Africa, Caribbean & Pacific (ACP) Music Festivals Network, African Music Festivals Network, Afrifestnet, and Indian Ocean Music Network. During 2011 we represented at meetings with movers and shakers at Durban World Music Festival & Moshito trade fair in South Africa, Bushfire Festival in Swaziland, Bayimba Festival in Kampala, and East African Arts Summit in Nairobi, and WOMEX music expo in Copenhagen.

Zanzibar Ngoma Auditions
This year the festival selection committee received 560 applications from musicians wishing to perform at this festival. For many local groups who don’t yet have recordings, we held a day of ngoma auditions where 14 groups took to the stage and six of the groups from Zanzibar were selected!

Zanzibar Leaders for Culture Forum
Under the shadow of financial cuts globally facing arts and culture, during November we did our bit here in Zanzibar to get the lights back on. Bringing together 70 key government and business leaders with members of the press, the Zanzibar Leaders for Culture Forum explored ways cultural institutions and festivals on the island can be sustained and further contribute to the island’s economic growth.