Call Out: Music Mobility Fund 2017 (February)

Concerts SA - Mobility Fund - TheCITY performing at Coco Blue (Tanzania) - Pic by Rhoda Isaacs cut lr

Applications Deadline: Sunday 26th February 2017

Planning a music tour but unsure how to fund it? Apply to Concerts SA’s Music Mobility Fund which will select new projects to support in March

This tour funding mechanism offers opportunities for professional South African musicians to undertake live music tours in South Africa as well as other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. The fund provides support to live music performances, collaborations and performance-based workshops.

Following the success of the five previous rounds of funding, applications are now open for the first iteration of Music Mobility Fund disbursements this year. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 26th February 2017, and tours should take place between late March 2017 and 15th June 2017.

The Fund is administered by Concerts SA, a joint South African/Norwegian project housed within The SAMRO Foundation. Working with musicians, promoters, venue owners and music sector stakeholders, the project aims to build a vibrant and viable live music circuit in southern Africa. It also seeks to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools.

Since it was initiated in 2013, the Music Mobility Fund has received almost 600 applications and supported more than 110 tours with artists like Tlokwe Sehume, Lindiwe Maxolo, Benjamin Jeptha, Wendy Oldfield, The Rudimentals and Tu Nokwe.

More than 500 musicians have successfully toured across the 9 South African provinces as well as 9 countries in southern Africa (Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia), playing almost 600 shows to over 40 000 people, spanning genres from jazz to indigenous music, from folk to hip-hop and kwaito.

Bonj Mpanza, vocalist of Future Afro band TheCITY, reflects on their latest tour: “Our personal and professional growth in our recent tour to Tanzania involved dealing with challenging circumstances while still offering the best performances we could. After the tour, we are definitely more efficient and equipped to deal with any situation than before the tour. Now that we know which venues, festivals and promoters are worthwhile from either a financial or strategic viewpoint, we could organise a tour focusing only on the performances that would have the most impact. This was our first international tour and seeing people connect to our music so far from home was an amazing experience. Afforded the privilege of experiencing the beautiful country and culture through music has been an unforgettable experience which we will treasure forever. What a privilege to be able to grow friendship and human connection through music!”

Designed to help musicians, music industry professionals and organisations build on already established domestic success and develop connections, markets and audiences for their work, the fund provides support towards travel and transportation, as well as per diems, material costs (hiring of backline and sound equipment), accommodation, artwork design, travel insurance and visas.

Reflecting on the assistance that he has received from Music Mobility Fund, folk artist Joel Karabo Elliott says: “The JKE Roots Grown Deep journey into Limpopo in October 2016 was a remarkable experience for the ensemble and the people we touched. We travelled with seven artists—six musicians plus one photographer. The financial support from Concerts SA (CSA) was critical to the success of the tour. CSA funds were used primarily to transport, feed and accommodate the ensemble. We could not have otherwise done such a tour into the rural areas where people generally do not have money to spend on music, and where live music performance has almost no professional traction. We give deepest thanks to the CSA initiative and all the partners and investors who make the project possible. Thank you for helping to keep roots music alive in South Africa and for letting us take it into our precious villages and homesteads.”

Among the projects that may be financed are tours and concerts, including regional, national or provincial tours, as well as performances at festivals and showcases. The Music Mobility Fund also funds artistic collaborations with merit among musicians based in different provinces of South Africa or SADC countries. Each project must be between four days and three months in duration.

National Projects

Artists from all provinces are invited to apply for national projects taking place in any South African province(s). The bulk of the activities must take place outside the province where the artist is based. The tour schedule must include one activity in either Gauteng, the Western Cape or KwaZulu-Natal. Applicants may request up to R30,000.

Regional Projects

Regional projects must take place in one or more of the following SADC countries: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. While activities in South Africa may be included as part of regional projects, the bulk of the activities must take place outside of South Africa. Applicants will need to conduct their own research and have identified and communicated with a potential partner or host. The partner may be an individual or organisation and must be an established musician or music professional, and must be based in the SADC country (or countries) where the project will take place. Applicants may request up to R45,000.

Application process

Applicants should read the call for proposals and complete the application form in English, and submit it by Sunday 26th February 2017, including the following mandatory documents: legal documentation of the applicant (ID/passport copy for individuals and organisation representatives; company registration documents); track record (media coverage, website links, evidence of recognition awards, public appearances or residencies, CV, biography, etc); budget of the project (including projected income and expenditure); and a calendar of activities with tour schedule. SADC regional projects must include a letter from the local host confirming their support and involvement.

Enquiries and applications should be submitted by email to concertssa@samro.org.za, by fax to 086 500 7028 or by post to Concerts SA, c/o The SAMRO Foundation, 20 De Korte Street, 4th Floor SAMRO Place, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2001.

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