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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

What to expect at the Africa Rising Music Conference

The Africa Rising Music Conference will now take place on 27 and 28 May, instead of the 29th as initially planned.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of this year’s Election Day has forced the Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC) to change dates from 28 and 29 May to the 27 and 28 of the same month.

Ramaphosa declared 29 May 2024 as the date for the 2024 General National and Provincial elections.

“We took an executive decision to change our dates as we recognise the importance of this election and we want attendees and speakers to experience the conference without disruptions, while simultaneously exercising their right to vote during these monumental elections,” ARMC Creative Lead, Namakau Star told The Citizen.

Found in 2022, the ARMC is a platform focused on women leadership, artist and executive exchange. This year’s instalment has emphasis on the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe, where delegates from the two countries will be in attendance.

“We’ve always strategically positioned our event between two partner festivals, Baseline Festival and Bushfire Festival. This scheduling aligns with our long-standing tradition and contributes to the reasoning behind our chosen dates for the week,” averred Namakau.

“Beyond the fulfilment of our constitutional obligation, these upcoming elections are also a celebration of our democratic journey and a determination of the future that we all desire,” said Ramaphosa last week.

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Ticket refund

After Ramaphosa’s announcement, ARMC said the conferences with its new dates, will now allow patrons free entry, but there were already a handful of attendees who bought tickets.

“20% of tickets were sold before the decisions were made and all ticket holders will be refunded,” said Namakau.

Everything you need to know about the Africa Rising Music Conference

The conference takes place in Newtown, at different venues, targeting music executives, artists seeking to enhance the business aspects of their creative practices, and music enthusiasts.

“It covers the entire music business supply chain, spanning from artists to labels to executives,” said Namakau.

Attendees can expect a mix of workshops at AMPD Studios by the likes of Pioneer DJ and Ableton, as well as panel discussions at Market Theatre by Paradise Worldwide, Sealand, Association for Electronic Music and SAMPRA.

Vocalist Busiswa will be one of the keynote speakers while others headliners are expected to be announced in mid-March.

“Our Ambassador program is bigger and better this year with femme and queer voices being spotlighted. These are the mouthpieces of change in our community and [we value] their expertise and involvement in their respective communities,” Namakau said.

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