The stage is almost set for the second episode of the Botswana International Music Conference (BIMC) scheduled for the week of 27 November ÔÇô 2nd December 2016. With major contributors to the weeklong event secured, the organisers are optimistic about the prospects of the event.
“Last year was all about setting up the event and introducing it to the local performing arts industry,” says Seabelo Modibe, BIMC founder and organiser. He says this year they are going all out to ensure a fruitful music conference. “We have managed to secure and pay high level speakers with the assistance of KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry Association (KUMISA).”
He says part of the new additions to this year’s event is the talent showcase which will give local artists an opportunity to demonstrate their craft to some of the biggest music festivals in the region.
“There are not enough festivals in the country to help support the livelihood of local artists,” Modibe says. He says because local artists do not have the necessary online presence to market their music abroad, the showcase presents a perfect opportunity to score gigs with the regional festivals.
Festivals that are expected to send representatives include the MTN Bushfire Festival (Swaziland); Stanbic Jazz Festival (Zambia); AZGO Festival (Mozambique); Windhoek Jazz Festival (Namibia); Gaborone International Music & Culture Week (Botswana); Africa Day Festival (SA); and ZAKIFO Music festival (SA).Modibe says the conference will also focus on NeedletimeRights royalties held by Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO). “A lot of our traditional music has over the years played on radio stations like SA’s Motsweding FM, Lesedi FM and we want to know how the royalties will be allocated to our local artists.”
Needletime Rights make sure performers and recording artists get paid when their music is played in public. These are the people who were in the studio playing the instruments, or singing the lyrics when the recording was made.
“Even if they didn’t write the song or the lyrics, their talent contributed to the final product. So they should get paid any time the song is played on the radio or anywhere else in public for that matter,” SAMRO says. As long as they contributed to a recorded performance that was captured on CD, tape, MP3 or any other recording device, recording artists have Needletime Rights over the recording.
BIMC will also discuss ways for artists to break international boundaries. Led by Faisal Kawena of DOADOA (Uganda) the discussion will talk about how artists can penetrate through other markets in the region.
DOADOA is the East African Performing Arts Market that provides a platform for professional networking and joint learning, bringing together various stakeholders. Sphe Mbele (KZN Imbizo) and Kritian Riis (Norway) will also be part of the discussions. Other industry players that are expected to take part in the conference include BOCRA, COSBOTS,BTV, SABC, and MYSC. Modibe says there will be experts from the region including Namibia, SA ,Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho,and Zimbabwe. The first installation of the three day long annual BIMC took place in October 2015 at the BNYC facility. The conference, first of its kind in Botswana, brought together various players from the music business to share ideas and knowledge on how to build successful brands and enhance the local industry. Experts from neighbouring countries were also present to share their expertise from their respective fields in the music business. One such was SA’s Mbhele. He is the Project Manager for the KZN Music Imbizo. Modibe, together with other local promoters and artists attended the 2016 Imbizo in August.