Beyond Busking Project 2023

Empowering South African Buskers: Beyond Busking Project 2023

At the Cape Town Arts Festival, innovation knows no bounds. In 2022, the festival proudly birthed the Beyond Busking Project, a pioneering initiative aimed at revolutionizing the perception of busking in South Africa. This groundbreaking endeavor transcends the confines of street performances, offering a transformative journey of growth and empowerment to talented buskers.

The essence of the project lies in its commitment to nurturing buskers, providing them with three months of intensive upskilling and development. Through tailored training modules in songwriting, vocal mastery, stage presence enhancement, equipment handling, musical arrangement, and professional studio production, buskers are equipped with the tools they need to thrive in the competitive music industry.

In 2023, the project saw the participation of eight buskers, predominantly youth and inclusive of women, each seizing the opportunity to hone their craft, craft their original compositions, and witness them come to life through professional studio recordings. But Beyond Busking goes beyond mere musical training. It instills in its participants the values essential for success not only on stage but also in their personal and professional lives.

None of this would have been possible without the invaluable partnership of the Ariva Arts Foundation and the V&A Waterfront, alongside the generous funding from the Presidential Employment Stimulus Program (PESP), under the stewardship of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) and the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture (DSAC).

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is extended to our esteemed facilitators, music mentors, composers, and producers who lent their expertise and guidance throughout the project. Special thanks to Clive Ridgeway, Abigail Houghton, Jonny Blundell, Lynne Holmes, and Fatima Dike for their unwavering support.

The resounding success of the Beyond Busking Project speaks volumes. From securing international contracts to captivating television audiences with live performances, the impact has been profound. One busker was offered a six-month journey in Spain, while two others grace the screens of ETV and Espresso, captivating audiences with their stories and talents. Furthermore, Artscape has extended an invitation to a fourth female busker to collaborate on a captivating musical production.

Beyond Busking isn’t just about music; it’s about empowerment, opportunity, and the transformative power of the arts. As we celebrate these remarkable achievements, we look forward to the continued growth and success of South Africa’s vibrant busking community.

🎥 by Nur Felix Film Production

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