Cape Town Festival takes to the streets to re-imagine the role of buskers

Cape Town Festival takes to the streets to re-imagine the role of buskers


Former CT Festival CEO, Yusuf Ganief, returns as Executive Chairperson, to revive the Cape Town Festival to support struggling artists, battling for survival under the economic pressures caused by the Covid Pandemic. Together with partners, The Castle of Good Hope, Ariva Arts Foundation, and Western Cape Department of Arts and Culture, Mr. Ganief will be launching the Beyond Busking Project on 15 June 2022 with auditions at the Castle.

“We have a wealth of talent performing on our streets in the Western Cape. With an upliftment program like the Beyond Busking project, we will identify talent and provide training in songwriting, vocal training, stage presence, assistance in musical arrangement, and equipment upgrades. This exciting journey of transformation for a few selected buskers will be filmed and shared widely as an example of how baby steps in the area of skills development and opportunity can change our destiny profoundly “says an enthusiastic Ganief.

Public art, street art, and street performance or busking are both welcomed and encouraged by the City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Branch. Art creates more attractive public spaces that help uplift communities and drive social change. Busking offers unique entertainment with a local flavour that generates income, showcasing the wealth of creative talent in the city to the public and visitors. While this is all true, busking is not sustainable for our local artists in comparison to international trends.

Successful performers who busk in Europe and the US can sustain themselves through their art, and they are not looked down upon for taking their performance to the streets. There is a dire need to uplift the image and perceptions of buskers in South Africa and create greater platforms beyond the streets of Cape Town.”, says Ganief about his new vision for buskers.

Both Ganief and Calvin Gilfellan, CEO of the Castle of Good Hope, see the value of supporting and nurturing street artists in a sustainable way.

“With the impact of Covid and our heavily burdened economy, the Beyond Busking Project provides economic relief and inspiration to our local busking artists. The Castle will assist our local artists with a training and mentorship venue and an annual venue space for the Cape Town Busking Festival in November 2022.” Says Calvyn Gilfellan.

“The rapidly changing world of Art requires imagination and enthusiasm to overcome our challenges. The Beyond Busking Project will ultimately twin with International Busking Festivals, taking the best of our own musicians and funding them to perform in other parts of the world such as the International Busking Day in London which is supported by the Mayor of London.”

Ganief continues, “The structure of the Cape Town Festival has changed dramatically, with ongoing projects and training programs all year round rather than a two-week festival. Having a partner like the Castle of Good Hope with a shared vision of showcasing our culture and history through the arts, shows how South Africans can innovate. We are one of the most creative countries and Cape Town is one of the most creative cities in the world because of our diversity and often limited resources.”

Echoes Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux: “Teaming up with the Cape Town Festival gives our “new normal” vision the added impetus it requires while it remains an absolute pleasure to rekindle an arts flame that once was”.

The Cape Town Festival kicks off the Beyond Busking Project with auditions at the Castle of Good Hope on the 15th of June 11 am – 3 pm. Buskers will give a 15-20 min performance to a panel of judges. Those who are selected will enter into a programme of transformation through songwriting, musical arrangement in the studio, recording original material, masterclasses in stage presence, vocal training, and exposure to radio and media. These performers will be filmed as they transform themselves with the help of a highly skilled team of professionals.

For further information to apply for the auditions, please contact Thabo at 084 894 6890 or send your info, bio, and contact details to



31 May 2022


YUSUF GANIEF (CEO) 074 661 7336

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