Dhow Countries Music Academy, Alliance Française de Nairobi, Embassy of Germany, Faculty of Arts and Science (EA) - Aga Khan University, Fly540.com, Stone Town Café, Mercury’s Restaurant, Archipelago Café & Restaurant, Clove Hotel, Kidude Café Restaurant, Tabasam Tours, Zanlink, Tower Top at 236 Hurumzi, Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge , Monsoon Restaurant, Serena Inn, Chavda Hotel, Southern Sun DSM, Malindi Guest House, Ultimate Security, ScreenStation (UK), Linear Velocity, Footcandles, 1time airline, National Arts Council of Namibia, www.zanzibar.net,
Thanks also to:
Ministry for Information, Culture & Sports,
and to all the people of Zanzibar:
kukubali kuwa tamasha hili ni letu sote na mchango wenu ndio
Sauti za Busara (Sounds of Wisdom) is an international festival celebrating East African music taking place around the second weekend of February each year in Zanzibar.
Featuring top-quality musical performances by more than 400 established and upcoming artists (40 groups in total), Sauti za Busara has already established itself as one of Africa’s leading music festivals. It’s an event that unites people in celebration.
"This year’s musical feast is richer and tastier than ever. As always our main focus is to showcase the wealth and variety of East African music - up coming and established groups; acoustic and electric; innovative and classic; from city and shamba. We also welcome visiting performers from across Africa: from Cape Town to Cairo, from Casablanca to Comoros, all bringing their flavours to the mix."
A carnival and street parade kicks off festivities on Thursday 12th February, featuring a beni brass band, drummers, wanandege (umbrella women), dancers, stilt walkers and acrobats. The parade arrives at Forodhani around 5pm and continues into the Old Fort (our main venue).
African Performances under African Skies
From Thursday through til Sunday, around ten groups perform each day. Big names rub shoulders with upcoming artists. Altogether there are thirty of the best groups of Zanzibar, Tanzania and around East Africa, traditional and modern, acoustic and electric. Plus, another ten groups, from Comoros, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, DRC, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and UK.
All the music is performed live. Starting in the late afternoon, as the sunshine softens and shadows start to stretch out, and continuing virtually non-stop into the evening, with the final band taking to the stage around midnight.
The main stage of the festival is situated within Stone Town’s historic Old Fort (on the grassy side) under open skies. The venue is exploding with colour with around twenty stalls selling food and refreshments, African clothing, music and local handicrafts.
The venue is busy every day with locals and visitors of all ages and backgrounds. We see kids and families in the late afternoon, culture vultures through the evening and party people dancing into the night.
Everyone agrees the atmosphere is unique and special, and Sauti za Busara has a reputation as “the friendliest festival on the planet!”
Tickets and Prices
Admission is free to everyone daily from 4pm until sunset. After that you need a ticket or pass. Prices vary for citizens, residents, and visitors. VIP tickets are available for those who prefer seating.
We are very grateful to East Africa's low cost airline FLY540.COM for stepping in at the last minute to sponsor the souvenir t-shirts.
For information about organised tours, flights, accommodation and other useful advice for visitors - please check Visitor Info page - on our website.
On Tuesday 17 February, we leave town behind and head for Kendwa Rocks, a beautiful beach location on Zanzibar's north coast. Starting from 4pm, there'll be DJs, acrobats, and live performances evolving into a fantastic Festival Finalé Party - and dancing till dawn.
Hey, it's not just us. With so many people in town all sorts of fringe events, activities and performances are organised by hotels, restaurants and businesses. We call it “Busara Xtra” and we'll do our best to let you know what's happening.