Keeping live music alive in southern Africa
“The Embassy’s collaboration with Concerts SA to date has made some remarkable achievements in supporting exciting music across genres and, even more, in taking that music to places and audiences who might not, otherwise, have had the chance to be inspired by it.”
We’ve supported over 5000 concerts in over 1000 venues reaching more than 1 million audience members in 11 SADC countries. Concerts SA incentivised over 400 projects, leveraging more than 200 artist-driven partnerships.
What is Concerts SA?
Concerts SA is a decade long, multi-award winning (two BASA awards) project that aims to foster and empower vibrant live music circuits and grow dedicated audiences in South Africa and the southern African region. This innovative project started in 2013, supported by the Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria and the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), and is currently managed by IKS Cultural Consulting.
This supports qualifying venues and promoters through subsidies to host concerts in improved professional conditions, while ensuring fair compensation to musicians and technical personnel. It further aims to foster and empower vibrant live music circuits and grow dedicated audiences, while assisting artists by encouraging new music circuits for established and emerging artists.
This programme was initiated in 2013 to enable South African musicians to undertake live tours, building circuits nationally, and in other SADC countries.
The Fund started in November 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic as a pivot to digital. It focuses on subsidising artists to host concerts and engage with live performances on streaming platforms. This addressed innovation and new technologies and created a platform for artists to bolster their income and potentially reach a diversified global audience.
The programme encourages appreciation for live music, with concerts and workshop at primary and secondary schools. It allows learners to experience music instruments in a professional setting, and exposes children in under-privileged communities to traditional and indigenous music instruments, encouraging participative learning.
Research informs and underpins the implementation of the programme and contributes to the body of knowledge and raw data available on the South African music sector. This is supported by a collaborative collective of independent experts from the arts, culture and heritage sectors, and draws on a network of leading consultants in the creative industries to propose and implement successful strategies and programmes across the African continent.
Playing a pivotal role, this is embedded in our broader programme approach and continues to make an important contribution to the effectiveness of our programme. Engagement takes place with all key organisations and initiatives in South Africa, as well as broadening out to various countries in African continent and Europe.