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Sauti za Busara

June 15, 2016 |
February 9, 2017 – February 12, 2017 all-day
Old Fort
Stone Town
Zanzibar Town

Sauti za Busara

Busara Promotions is a non-profit NGO, registered in Zanzibar in 2003. Our main event is the globally acclaimed Sauti za Busara music festival, held annually in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

In past years Sauti za Busara was funded by international donors (35%), commercial sponsors (40%) and self-generated income (25%). Unfortunately the 2016 edition had to be cancelled due to shortage of sponsors. We now urgently seek partnerships with the public and private sectors, to build a secure and sustainable future for the festival. Generous marketing packages are available for all partners and sponsors.

For sponsor packs or more information, email The 14th edition is scheduled for
9th – 12th February 2017. Over four days, the festival will include:

  • Live Stages: Exciting and dynamic shows with 400 artists (40 groups) on stage: ‘Full Mzuka’, 100% live!
  • Carnival Parade & Roadshow: Zanzibar Town and outlying districts also buzz with excitement!
  • Movers & Shakers: Local and visiting industry professionals meet, network and exchange
  • Swahili Encounters: Local and visiting artists exchange and create artistic collaborations
  • Busara Xtra: Fringe events across the island, as organised by local communities

Every year since 2004, Sauti za Busara has been bringing people together in celebration of African music. 20,000 people attend over four days. 70% of audiences are from East Africa. International visitors attend from across Africa, Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia.

To date the festival featured over 300 groups, with 70% from East Africa and others from across the African Continent and diaspora: from Mali to Madagascar, Mauritania to Mauritius, Algeria to Zimbabwe.

Sauti za Busara showcases original, live, quality music that has cultural identity. At the same time, it:

  • Builds local and global appreciation for African music
  • Promotes peace and harmony, with respect for diversity
  • Creates jobs and builds livelihoods
  • Provides training and professionalism for East Africa’s creative industries
  • Defends human rights and freedom of expression
  • Boosts the economy, with traders reporting this is Zanzibar’s busiest week of the year.

Thanks to Sauti za Busara, Zanzibar is on the map as a leading destination for cultural tourism. The festival is widely promoted on the streets of East Africa, enjoys wide coverage on TV, radio, print and social media, and newsletters to 70,000 subscribers worldwide. gets 5m hits during Dec-Feb alone.

Sauti za Busara is one of ‘Africa’s best and most respected music events’ (BBC News). It’s also included in CNN’s 7 African music festivals you really have to see.

See here for video highlights. For sponsor packs or more information, email


Call for Artists 2017 – DEADLINE for applications 31 July 2016

For artists performing in the Festival, we usually pay a modest performance fee and cover expenses in Zanzibar, including local travel, visa, accommodation, food and incidentals. Artists from outside the region may have to find their own travel sponsors.

The selection committee meets during August to decide the programme for Sauti za Busara 2017. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decisions before September.

How to apply to perform at Sauti za Busara 2017

Your application will only be considered if we have received your completed application before 31 July. This must include the following:

Click here for online application form.
Please send recordings, photos and other materials to our office address as below. All materials sent to Busara address must be labeled FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY.


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