Musicians hit hard by festival cancellations in southern Africa
Coronavirus has forced events including AfrikaBurn and Bushfire to cancel, leaving performers without promotional platforms and income
In a region where live music is everything – both for audiences and for performers heavily reliant on live appearances to make a living – the widespread cancellation of festivals across southern Africa has hit the music business hard.
May should have seen the Bushfire festival in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Zakifo and AfrikaBurn in South Africa, and Azgo in Mozambique. Next month would have been Zimfest in Zimbabwe. All have been cancelled – or replaced with online versions – along with dozens of smaller live events that have been growing in recent years, bringing in tourism, showcasing talent and culture, and boosting southern Africa’s music industry.