By Shout-Africa – The Music Crossroads IRF is likely the most unique musical experience south of the equator. This year’s edition of the African sound clash will take place from the 16th to the 18th of July in Tanzania, bringing together the best up-and-coming artists from Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as special guests from around the world. The Music Crossroads IRF totals 3 days of musical magic for audiences of all ages and musical tastes. Starting at the TaSUBa amphitheater in Bagamoyo, the first day of the festival is packed full with international showcases by outstanding new artists from Belgium, Ghana, South Africa and Sweden along side local Tanzanian favourites. The second day continues at the amphitheater and brings with it the highlight of the festival; the Music Crossroads IRF ‘Grand Finale’, southern African’s premier music competition for up-and-coming bands. On Sunday the event will move to the Makumbusho Cultural Center in Dar es Salaam, for the Chill-out concert.
So what sets the Music Crossroads IRF apart from other African music festivals? Firstly all the musicians are under 25, ensuring that you get only the freshest unseen talent from southern Africa and beyond. The festival is open to all styles of music but is most renowned for its celebration of African heritage, whether pop or rock, jazz or reggae, all artists showcased at the festival pulsate a spirit and feel that is undoubtedly African. The Music Crossroads IRF is not just an incredible music festival; it is a spectacular showdown between the Salif Keita’s and Miriam Makeba’s of tomorrow. It’s a question of pride, each band has been selected through a gruelling series of local and national competitions to arrive at the IRF where they will represent their country at a proverbial ‘CONCAF Cup‘ of music! The winner of the festival will walk away with a European Tour of over 8 different countries, a demo CD recording as well as management and promotion by the Music Crossroads International team. Music Crossroads is today recognised as the official launch pad for young African musicians. Past winners include Kapa Dech (Mozambique), Afrikali (Tanzania), Tikhu Vibrations and Body, Mind & Soul (Malawi), Bongo Love, Liyana and Mokoomba (Zimbabwe) and last year’s winners Nyali from Zambia to name a few.
For the musicians this is also not only a great festival, but a chance for them to change their lives and that of their communities forever! Each Music Crossroads IRF includes high level musical workshops as well as several opportunities for young artists to explore the role of music in shaping their societies and addressing some of the most serious issues (HIV/AIDS prevention, gender equality etc) affecting their lives as young Africans.
If it’s music you want it’s music you’ll get! This year’s festival promises to pull out all the stops and is set to be the biggest festival in the 15-year history of the Music Crossroads program in southern Africa. “How much is all of this amazing entertainment going to cost me?” You ask? Well that is the best part; it’s absolutely free! Each day kicks off around 3pm so make sure that you get down to Bagamoyo/Dar es Salaam to support your nation’s rising musical stars at the Music Crossroads IRF 2010!