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Sauti za Busara Festival 2019 - Stone Town Zanzibar

  08 November 2018       Staff Writer       5 min read

Zanzibar is well known for its beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, a wealth of spices as well as friendly smiles and laid back relaxed Island lifestyle. But did you know it has it's very own music festival too? It's called the Sauti za Busara and plays home to a host of local and international artists each year.

What is the Sauti za Busara festival?

Sauti za Busara which means "sounds of wisdom in Swahili is an African inspired music festival that is held every year in February in Zanzibar. The festival will be held at the Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe), with fringe events taking place concurrently around Stone Town such as the carnival street parade.

Sauti za Busara is one of the largest music festivals in East Africa, with hundreds of local and international artists participating each year. It is meant to showcase a diverse and dynamic programme of exclusively African music - 100% live - and has over the years provided a valuable stage for local Swahili talent, from taarab legends like Bi Kidude and Culture Musical Club to homegrown Tanzanian pop and hip-hop.

This year's festival will feature 44 performances by artists from across Africa on three live stages with over 400 musicians performing for four days and nights.

The organisers of Sauti za Busara Festival have announced the line-up for next year's festival scheduled for 7-10 February 2019 at its traditional venue of Stone Town in Zanzibar

The main site for next year’s extravaganza is the Old Fort. The festival will feature 44 performances by artists from across Africa on three live stages with over 400 musicians performing for four days and nights.

The musicians lined up are:

Artists attending come from all over Africa while headlines acts for this year are:

Local East African musicians

  • Afrigo Band (Tanzania)
  • FID Q (Tanzania)
  • Wamwiduka Band (Tanzania)
  • Mkubwa Na Wanawe Crew (Tanzania)
  • Faith Mussa (Malawi), Fadhilee Itulya (Kenya)
  • Tausi Women's Taarab (Zanzibar/Tanzania)
  • Rajab Suleiman and Kithara (Zanzibar/Tanzania)
  • Jackie Akello (Uganda)
  • Shamsi Music (Kenya)
  • Damian Soul (Tanzania)
  • S Kide and Wakupeti Band (Tanzania)
  • Stone Town Rockerz (Zanzibar/Tanzania)
  • Trio Kazanchis +2 (Ethiopia/Switzerland)
  • Man Sulei Tara Jazz (Zanzibar/Tanzania) 
  • Eli Maliki (Uganda)

Musicians from around Africa

  • Ifrikya Spirit (Algeria)
  • Ithrene (Algeria)
  • Lydol (Cameroon)
  • BCUC (South Africa)
  • Tune Recreation Committee (South Africa)
  • M'toro Chamou (Mayotte/Reunion)
  • Hoba Hoba Spirit (Morocco)
  • Sofaz (Reunion)
  • Dago Roots (Reunion)
  • Mokomba (Zimbabwe)

and many more!

It's about more than just music

Besides live music performance, the 16th edition of the festival will also feature a Carnival Parade in Zanzibar's outlying districts, and Swahili Encounters where local and visiting musicians exchange and collaborate.

The annual festival organised by Busara Promotions, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation and takes place every February in Stone Town. While Sauti za Busara Festival 2019 is supported by the Norwegian Embassy, Embassy of Switzerland to Tanzania and Zambia, Zenj Digital Television, Zanlink, Memories of Zanzibar, Emerson Zanzibar, Embassy of France and Music In Africa.

Its objective is to promote respect for cultural diversity. The performers represent Tanzanian, East African, continental and African diaspora. The festival will feature over 40 per cent of the groups from Tanzania which will serve up a mix of both young, local and emerging talents alongside established acts to provide a vibrant mixture of youth and experience.

Tickets & passes

If you would like to reserve your spot at the festival, then head over to the official website. Tickets & Passes are now available online with special discounts are offered for Tanzanian citizens and attendees that are valid African passport holders.

To find out more visit their official website here: http://www.busaramusic.org/

Dance to the sounds of Africa

If you're planning on travelling to Zanzibar for the Sauti za Busara, then be sure to check for flights on Tripindigo and make sure you get the best deals on travel in East Africa. Travel plans change upon arriving you may find yourself wanting to stay a little longer so you can explore more of what this magical island has to offer. So as a travel tip from us you may want to add a few extra days before or after the festival dates when reserving your flights.

We'd love to hear from you If you have anything to add to our list or would like to tell us about your experience give us a shout!

Share your experience with us! Tag @Tripindigo on your social posts #EastAfricaRocks or comment below!

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