Call for applications: ACCES 2021 showcases

The Music In Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES) invites African musicians based on the continent to apply for an opportunity to showcase at ACCES 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa from 25 to 27 November.

ACCES, which is organised by the Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) in a different African city every year, will offer a robust programme and platforms for performers to showcase their talent to a diverse audience of local and international delegates, including festival curators, promoters, booking agents, record labels and other influential audiences.

Launched in Dakar in 2017 and held in Nairobi in 2018 and Accra in 2019, the event includes training workshops, industry talks, keynotes, live performances, networking sessions, a collaborative recording studio, exhibitions and visits to key music industry hubs in the host city.

The application deadline is 25 July 2021 (midnight CAT).

Who can apply?

  • This call is open to African musicians (solo artists, bands, DJs etc.) based on the continent.
  • Applicants are emerging musicians who will genuinely benefit from the opportunity to boost their careers internationally.
  • Applicants can deliver an outstanding performance.
  • Applicants should be export-ready.
  • All genres are welcome.
  • All participants must be over 18 years old.
  • All applications must be based on live performances and original music. No backing tracks.
  • Performances supporting political parties or religious faith will not be permissible.

Applications can be submitted by the artists themselves or by the artists/bands’ representatives (managers, publishers, labels, agents and promoters.

Important requirements to consider before applying

  • Applicants should be prepared to be available for the duration of ACCES and to perform on any of the dates (25, 26, 27 November 2021).
  • Musicians based outside Johannesburg should be prepared to provide their own funding for transport costs to and from Johannesburg. The Music In Africa Foundation will strive to support musicians to apply for funding from available networks and partners but cannot guarantee that this will be successful.  
  • Due to COVID-19, all applicants should note that while ACCES 2021 performances are planned as live performances, there is a possibility that restrictions may make it impossible for travel. It is therefore a requirement for all applicants to confirm that they would be willing and have the capacity  to offer a professional digital showcase should that become the only option for them to participate. A digital performance in this case refers to a pre-recorded performance that is submitted to ACCES in a professional video quality and format.  
  • Selected acts will be showcased at ACCES to a diverse audience of local and international festival curators, promoters, booking agents, record labels and other influential audiences.
  • Performers will receive a modest honorarium.
  • Performers will be provided with local transport (related to the performance).
  • Performers from outside Johannesburg will be provided with accommodation (related to the performance) and a per diem. One band manager only may be included in the travelling party and benefit from the same support offered by ACCES as the performing band members.
  • VISA costs will be reimbursed against receipts.
  • Where required for travelling, costs for COVID tests will be reimbursed against receipts.
  • ACCES will provide regular sound and lights plus basic shared backline.
  • Performers will be granted full access passes to all ACCES activities, including industry talks, workshops and a collaborative on-site recording studio.
  • Selected acts will be promoted across the Music In Africa and ACCES platforms (programme, newsletters, press releases, website, social media).
  • ACCES will provide media exposure.
  • ACCES will provide the performers and their reps with the tools and platforms to get in touch with new audiences and business partners.
  1. Read the call for applications carefully.
  2. Create (if you haven’t already) a profile on the Music in Africa Artist & Industry section using this link: Make sure that your profile is up to date, as this is the profile that the Curation Committee will review. Here is an example of a profile: Your profile must include the following:
    > A clear biography;
    > At least three latest song releases;
    > At least one live performance video;
    > At least two high-resolution promotional photos and credits;
    > Social media links. 

NOTE: You may find your profile already created by a Music in Africa contributor. In this case, you would need to follow the online steps to claim it. Once you have control of your profile, make sure to update the information.
One same email address can be linked to one Music In Africa profile only.

Complete and submit the online application form. Email applications will not be considered.

NOTE: The form will not allow applicants to save and complete later. Before you complete it, make sure you have all the required information and documents.

Application deadline: 25 July 2021 (midnight CAT).

  • Eligible applications will be reviewed by the ACCES Curation Committee.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by 13 August 2021.
  • Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified.
  • Only complete applications will be considered.
  • Only applications submitted via the dedicated online form will be considered.
  • Late applications will not be considered.

Should any COVID-19 restrictions apply and affect your participation, you will be informed in due time by the ACCES team.

For enquiries and information, email

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