info@concertssa.co.za   Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

NewsNewsletterConcerts SA: Celebrating a decade of investment in Live Music (2013 to 2024)

Concerts SA: Celebrating a decade of investment in Live Music (2013 to 2024)


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If you’re interested in live music support and Concerts SA –as an audience member, a musician, organiser, researcher or in any other role –  then this newsletter is for you: stay tuned. For more information on Concerts SA see [below].

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If you’re interested in the work of IKS Cultural Consulting, then click here to subscribe to the www.iksafrica.com newsletter. For more information on IKS see below.

If you don’t yet know enough about our organisations to make up your mind, please have a look at the websites www.concertssa.co.za and www.iksafrica.com.


For those faithful to Concerts SA we have great news – the rumors of Concerts SA’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. We are happy to say that the chances of our success are greater than ever, although the notion of success may have changed for those of you wanting to subsidize your live-music projects.

It is true that in 2023 we completed 10 years of Concerts SA support for live music in southern Africa. It is also true that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ended their extremely generous support for Concerts SA which followed on from 10 years of Norwegian investment into music education through the Mmino project. With Norway’s support both Mmino and Concerts SA achieved a great deal.

In 10 years CSA created more than 22 378 work opportunities for SA Musicians and technicians at 3 858 concerts, in 1 911 small venues in all SA provinces and 11 SADC countries, reaching more than 1.1 million people in the venues. To illustrate this impact we estimated an average at one concert per day for ten years. As we said at our Digital Futures Workshops last year, we are incredibly grateful for the people of Norway’s support – Tussen Tak! (Thank you!) to the people of Norway.

Concerts SA Workshop at KZNSA, Durban, 2023. From Left to Right: Lex Lafoy (artist), Andre le Roux (Concerts SA Project Manager), HE Ambassador Gjermund Sæther (Norwegian Embassy, Pretoria), Nicholas Maweni (SAMRO Chair), Marlijn Ntsele (promoter, iSupport)

We also want to extend our gratitude to SAMRO who have not only invested in this project for the last decade but have also committed to support Concerts SA’s operations for the next two years as we stabilize and source some much needed project and program partners and funders to continue our programs. Norwegian money seeded this project and SAMRO’s commitment to Concerts SA is now a lifeline as we strategically shift the project into a new realm of lobbying and advocacy, research, and live-music support while we source operational funding. In the coming period the services that Concerts SA will offer to the music ecosystem may vary in nature due to some limitations of committed funds, but this will change when we get additional partners  on board.

In December 2024 we completed our final audit and End of Term Review for Norway, and produced some short films on the core programmes over the past 10 years – Venue & Promoter Support, the Mobility Fund, the Digital Mobility Fund, our live-music in schools programme and our research.

What's Next?

‘So what now?’ you ask. Now we are commencing our second decade of the Concerts SA program. Our budget is not as large, but our hearts and passion persevere and there is still work that needs to be done. We will continue to run programs to support live-music projects, and we will still encourage best practice amongst the musicians, venues and promoters of southern Africa. To keep up to date on Concerts SA opportunities sign up for the Concerts SA newsletter here and follow our social media channels.


If you are a previous beneficiary, artist, venue owner, promoter or avid music consumer, and you wish to help us lobby for funding or advocate for this program in your village, town, city, province or country then please have a look at these reference letters and send us either a letter, some of the archival pictures or footage or make a positive comment on our social media on what good you believe this project has done.

If you have some good leads for partnerships, then please write to us at hello@iksafrica.com.

If you are running a venue or hosting gigs please visit our venues map and gig guide and we will assist as far as we can with popularizing your music space or events.

New Website, Venues Map & Gig Guide

Concerts SA has a new Website! On it you can get a better understanding of the projects history, its programs, resources and an archive of videos from the programs we have been involved in. You can also download our research, including Songlines, It Starts with a Heartbeat, Digital Futures: Live Streaming in South Africa, and Digital Futures Two: Taking Live Music Online in South AfricaOn our Videos page, you can watch artists who performed as part of the Concerts SA programme.

Currently we are wrapping up a documentary of Concerts SA’s work through the lives of two prominent artists, completing research on Women in Music which we kicked off in Women’s Month 2023. We will be focusing internally on research and direct engagement in lobbying, advocacy and advisory services for the sector.

FAQs: "What is SAMRO’s role in Concerts SA?"; "What does IKS Cultural Consulting do?"; "How is local government involved?"

We would like to clear up some things: Many have asked ‘What is SAMRO’s role in Concerts SA? What does IKS Cultural Consulting do? How is local government involved?

So let’s give you the low-down:

Concerts SA

CSA is a live music project, focusing on growing the live-music industry and music circuits in southern Africa. The project has been supported by the Norwegian Embassy, SAMRO, the National Arts Council (during COVID), Gauteng province through Constitution Hill, the Albert Luthuli and Ditsong Museums and recently the Dept of Sports, Arts and Culture MGE fund, amongst other funds that saw the benefit of the our work.

In terms of genres, Concerts SA has supported musicians across all genres from indigenous acoustic to electronic music, heavy metal, light classical and from the hip-hop movement to western classical and choral music. So in our community one could say that we are genre agnostic, come all, play all and generally believe … let the music play on.


SAMRO co-founded the Concerts SA project with the Norwegian government. It has been their shared project since 2012 and was first mooted at the South Atlantic Music Conference in Cape Town in 2008. Today SAMRO plays a critical role in supporting the administration of the project through IKS Cultural Consulting. In return, SAMRO guarantees that Concerts SA support is available to SAMRO Members. If you would like to know more about SAMRO, visit their website at www.samro.org.za.

IKS Cultural Consulting 

IKS Cultural Consulting cc (est. 2004), has been the home of Concerts SA since March 2020 with a mission to promote African indigenous knowledges and cultures, and pan African cooperation. Ots focus is on the mobility of artworks and artists across all art forms with specialist skills and knowledge in the music sector.

IKS engages in pan-African collaborations through research, project management, and networking in the arts. If you would like to know more about IKS click here, and sign up to their newsletters here. We have partners in East Africa – Connect for Culture Africa, West Africa (based in Ethiopia and Sweden under the banner of Selam – The African Culture Fund – based in Mali (all hyperlinks), the Arterial Network (Across the African Continent), Iomma – (Indian Ocean Music Network – based in Reunion and the World Jazz Network – based in Amersfoort in the Netherlands).

IKS’s founder Andre Le Roux was the Managing Director of the SAMRO Foundation, and responsible for legal and marketing at SAMRO and in this capacity conceptualized it with colleagues and launched Concerts SA. He has led the strategic direction of Concerts SA since its inception as part of his work at the SAMRO Foundation. When Le Roux left SAMRO in March 2020, his company, IKS Cultural Consulting was commissioned to continue the work of Concerts SA which thrived and blossomed throughout the pandemic pandemonium.

Concerts SA is one of IKS Cultural Consulting’s main projects and IKS is intimately involved in its operations. IKS oversees all operational matters of the project from designing and refining its programs, overseeing grant management, and conducting relevant research into the live-music sector and most importantly lobbying and advocacy for this model of policy and practice.

Other Supporters

IKS actively seeks support from other partners, funders and donors for its projects including Concerts SA. This includes government funders like the National Arts Council, Department of Sports Arts and Culture, and Provincial cultural bodies, as well as corporate and international support and foreign donors. Each supporter is entitled have specific requirements for the funds, for example, supporting specifically women, youth, enterprise development, citizenship, etc. IKS would then be responsible for catering to these specific needs.

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