RECORD crowd is expected to attend this year’s Sauti za Busara (SzB) international music festival, in Zanzibar, which started yesterday here.
Anticipation and excitement are high, while hotels around Stone Town were being reported as being fully-booked yesterday. For the first time there will be three stages being used to cater for the 40 bands that are listed to be performing over the four-day annual event.
“It must be remembered that at the same time of the year, the festival creates employment, builds skills and livelihoods. An independent economic impact study was conducted by African Synergy in 2005. Their report showed thanks to SzB more than USD 7.2m is being injected into the Zanzibar economy each year,” the Festival Director, Yusuf Mahmoud, proudly told journalists yesterday.
He went on to say that what makes the festival “unique” is that it provides “100 per cent live” music, which he claims proudly showcases quality, originality and innovation. This he maintains gives priority to young and emerging artists and music with a cultural identity.
That is why this year, under the theme of “Africa United” the Busara team promises “a rich and tasty feast” for music lovers. Mahmoud reminded those present that half of the 40 bands participating this year are local bands from the Mainland and the Zanzibar Isles.
Together with them they have lined-up a diverse and exciting number of visiting artists, which stretch across the African continent, from north, south, east and west.
On another occasion yesterday, the Board of Trustees Chairman, Simai Mohamed Said, announced that for the first time this year the board of the Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation is officially launching the first annual “Emerson’s Music Award (EZMA).
This will be given to the best performance by a Zanzibari artist, who has participated in this year’s episode.