Music industry sets up Indian Ocean network


09-May-2009

Forty representatives of the live music and festival sector met with great enthusiasm on May 1-2 at the Ashanti Hotel in Johannesburg’s central business district.

Five years ago, impresarios Alain Courbis (Reunion), Yusuf Mahmoud (Zanzibar) and Dan Chiorboli (South Africa) developed the idea of a music network for the region.

Confirming the value of this initial idea, the idea of those present was to investigate ways of enhancing cooperation, networking, skills development and cultural exchange among live music industry operators and performers in the Indian Ocean region.

The need to develop the live music sector at regional level was seen as being particularly important because of its potential not only to enhance job creation and pool resources but to ensure vibrancy and cultural exchange.

The meeting drew up a number of key objectives for the new network, which identified a need to create and sustain viable circuits for musicians and other artists, promote economies of scale, respect cultural diversity and share resources in a mutually beneficial way.

During its talks, the network also committed itself to launch a website that will include a diary of festivals and contact details of music festival organisers in and around the Indian Ocean.

It is expected festivals will communicate their programmes and identify ways in which they could benefit from sharing various programming costs.

The meeting elected six representatives from the Indian Ocean islands and another six from the African continent to form the board of the IOMN.

Yusuf Mahmoud, one of the founder members and newly elected IOMN president, said: “The activity and enthusiasm over the past two days demonstrates the commitment of those taking part and further bears testimony to a need for the setting-up and development of the IOMN. “With cooperation and working together, yes we can build the live music and festival circuits, for the maximum benefit of the diverse and wonderful musicians from the region that we represent.”

Appointed to the IOMN’s board are: from the African continent – Yusuf Mahmoud (Sauti za Busara/Zanzibar), president; Dan Chiorboli (Music Mix Durban/South Africa), vice-president; Paulo David Sithoe (Logaritimo/Mozambique); Lee Walters (Moshito Music Conference/South Africa); Hilda Kiel (Dhow Countries Music Academy /Zanzibar and Worlds of Indian Ocean/Kenya); Rashid Lombard (Capetown Jazz Festival/South Africa).

And from the Indian Ocean islands –  Alain Courbis (Pôle Régional Musiques Actuelles/Reunion, secretariat IOMN); Miera Savy (Festival Kreol/Seychelles); Percy Yip Tong (Samemsa Festival/Mauritius); Max Etangsale (Artkenciel Festival/Reunion, assistant secretary); Alain Kamal Henry (Festival Intermizik/Mayotte, assistant secretary); Pierre Emmanuel Fega (Angaredona Festival Antananarivo/Madagascar).

At the end of the meeting, delegates agreed to meet again at the Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition, which takes place in Johannesburg from September 2-5.

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