Sauti za Busara Call for Music Festival Applications in Zanzibar

Sauti za Busara Call for Music Festival Applications in Zanzibar

Sauti za Busara, in partnership with the Music In Africa Foundation, is calling on artists whose music is connected to Africa to apply for a chance to perform at the festival’s 2021 edition in Stone Town, Zanzibar, from 11 to 14 February.

  • Moroccan musician Mehdi Qamoum at Sauti za Busara 2020. Photo: Link Reuben

The annual festival seeks to increase visibility and accessibility for live African music, develop skills and opportunities for those in the music industry, and strengthen regional and international networking for artists.

“Our main aim at Sauti za Busara festival is to widen appreciation for cultural diversity and quality music that is uniquely connected to Africa,” festival organiser Yusuf Mahmoud said. “Each year, we receive more than 500 applications for only 40 performance slots that are available.”


Sauti za Busara showcases live, original and diverse music from the African continent and diaspora. Musicians representing the Arab world and the Indian Ocean region are also welcome to apply.

Preference is given to:

  • Unique music with a cultural identity that is connected to Africa, the Arab world and the Indian Ocean.
  • Female artists or groups led by women.
  • Young, new and emerging talent.
  • Music with messages that are positive, relevant and useful to society.
  • Music that is performed 100% live.


To apply to participate, please send all documents as listed below. Incomplete applications or those received after the deadline will not be considered. Areas marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.

  • Application form(link is external).*
  • Artists’ profile/biography.*
  • Link to the artist’s profile on the Music In Africa portal ( You can sign up with Music In Africa here and follow the prompts.
  • Latest audio release (send two CDs by post, or maximum of three songs by WeTransfer/Dropbox/Google Drive).
  • Video DVD of live performance, or one clip by WeTransfer/Dropbox/Google Drive (if available).
  • Two promotional hi-res photos.
  • Stage plan and technical rider (if available).
  • Artists from outside the region are usually required to find their own travel sponsors.

Supporting documents must be clearly labelled and sent by email to sends e-mail).

Printed applications by post are highly appreciated and should be sent to:

Journey Ramadhan
Festival Manager
Busara Promotions
PO Box 3635

Please mark your package clearly: ‘Contents not for sale. For promotional use only’.

The application deadline is 31 July 2020 (midnight EAT).

If selected, Sauti za Busara will cover the following expenses for participating artists, plus one manager:

  • Modest honorarium, towards performance fees.
  • Per diems, for meals and incidentals.
  • Accommodation in Zanzibar.
  • All local transport related to the performance.
  • Tanzanian visa costs, reimbursed against receipts.
  • All festival passes, including access to all shows for the duration of the event.
  • Invitations to Movers and Shakers (networking for professionals), press conferences and other events.
  • Artist’s profile in festival programmes, press releases and on the official website and social media platforms.

Why you need a Music In Africa profile

In 2019, Sauti za Busara entered into a partnership with Music In Africa as the official online platform that will be used by curators to check applicants’ profiles (including bios, music, videos of past shows, tour history, pictures, etc.). This means artists can create a professional electronic press kit (EPK) on Music In Africa to improve their chances of being selected to play at the festival. As an added perk, all profiles will receive editorial support from the Music In Africa team to guarantee best quality before adjudication. Please note that it is not mandatory to create a Music In Africa profile, but doing so will certainly help an applicant.

“We are happy that this partnership with Music in Africa continues,” Mahmoud said. “It offers more professionalism and visibility for all musicians who apply for the festival. Having an up-to-date EPK on the Music in Africa platform greatly enhances artists’ chances to participate, not only at Sauti za Busara but potentially at other festivals around the world”.

Follow the steps on how to create a Music In Africa profile in the video below:

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