By Nomali Cele
There are a lot of ideas of what a musician should do and tours – going where fans are and putting on performances – is one of the expectations. But for most acts, this is a difficult endeavour that sees them relying on concert promoters to book them. The promotions business is profit-driven, which shrinks the pool of who gets booked to only artists who perform the popular music of the day.
The Concerts SA Mobility Fund is changing that. Co-founded in 2013 by The British Council’s Connect ZA and The SAMRO Foundation, the fund is giving South African artists a chance to tour nationally and throughout the SADC region between October 2018 and May 2019. The project awards numerous acts within the two categories of national and SADC touring. Concerts SA is a joint South African and Norwegian initiative.
Artists who wish to undertake a tour within the country need to ensure that all performance activities happen outside the province that the artist is primarily based. So you can do a tour in all nine provinces but most of the funds that come from the Concerts SA Mobility Fund will have to be spent on activities happening outside of your base province.
What you need to apply to the Concerts SA Mobility Fund
A big draw for the arts that will be eventually awarded the 2018/2019 Concerts SA Mobility Fund for their tour will be a few things. Most important of all is the plan. Will it work out that you plan to go to a town that prefers sporting entertainment to live music? Be strategic, specific and realistic with your proposal, that way it stands a better chance of being funded. The Concerts SA Mobility Fund also always takes the applying artists’ track record into consideration, why give money to an act that is known for not pitching to performances when there are others with better records?
How the Concerts SA Mobility Fund supports your tour efforts
All awarded artists will get up to 80% of their tour costs taken care of by the fund. This includes accommodations, travel costs, media coverage and technical support. It also includes things such as Visas and other admin, for the artists who will be doing SADC tours.
Artists applying to fund a national tour can request up to R30, 000 in funding, while artists wanting to tour the SADC will be able to apply for up to R45, 000. The Mobility Fund also encourages collaborations between artists in Southern Africa. So if you already have a relationship with artists and organisations in another country, this could be the opportunity for you to finally work together.
Previous recipients of the Concerts SA Mobility Fun include The Brother Moves On, Tlale Makhene, Thandi Ntuli, Benjamin Jephta, Josie Field, Lindiwe Maxolo, Amandla Freedom Ensemble, Tumi Mogorosi and many more. Applications close on 16 September 2018. Read the call for proposals here and complete in your application here.
Art by Mzwandile Buthelezi, courtesy of Concerts SA