Sibusiso Mashiloane performing at The Playhouse Theatre, Durban, South Africa (December 2020) | Image by Vulane Mthembu

Concerts SA has once again awarded subsidies to music projects to stimulate and sustain the music sector through its Digital Mobility Fund. This is the third Digital Mobility Fund, for which 431 applications were received in September 2021. A total of 70 grants of R30 000 each (R2.1 million) were awarded to projects across the country. For a list of all successful applications, visit or click here.

Since 2013, Concerts SA has supported music touring across the southern African region. The Concerts SA (CSA) project is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE) and SAMRO. The Digital Mobility Fund has received funding support from the Swiss-based Levedo Foundation (2020/2021) and the National Arts Council (May 2021).

What is the Digital Mobility Fund?

In the greater part of 2020, and again this year, the COVID-19 pandemic locked down the live music sector, and with it, shut down the main revenue stream of most musicians. CSA conducted research into the impact of the locked down music sector in 2020, and published Digital Futures? – Live Streaming in South Africa. This research not only provided insight into live streaming music events in South Africa, but to the best available alternative for music revenue. From this research, the first Digital Mobility Fund was born.

The Digital Mobility Fund (#DMF) focussed on keeping live music in South Africa active through online platforms, accepting proposals from musicians who intended to produce online content for livestreaming or delayed broadcast. The first #DMF ran from October 2020 to January 2021 and was supported by the RNE and Levedo Foundation. The second #DMF, in May/June 2021, facilitated the responsible and swift delivery of funds administered by the National Arts Council from the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package (PESP).

Securing and effectively utilising a total of R3 735 573 in funding support, the combined results of the first two #DMF callouts were:

  • 125 live-streamed or delayed broadcast projects selected from 521 valid applications.
  • 104 concerts at 135 venues.
  • 1357 work opportunities created in the music sector
  • 52 projects fostered partnerships which grew the scope of their projects.
  • 16 streaming platforms were used, inclusive of 5 locally based platforms.

In August 2021, Concerts SA ran three intensive music business workshops in South Africa’s main cities to spread the word about the Digital Mobility Fund and promote understanding of the online concerts’ business models and other Concerts SA projects. Funded by SAMRO, these workshops took place in Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg. To make attendance accessible, the workshops were live-streamed and are still available on the Concerts SA Facebook page.

“These workshops assisted musicians, many of whom are SAMRO Members, whose primary source of income is live performance...”

CEO of SAMRO, Mark Rosin, says “These workshops assisted musicians, many of whom are SAMRO Members, whose primary source of income is live performance. They also guided artists on other fundraising possibilities in these difficult times when artists struggle to put food on the table and our sector, like other parts of the economy, is depressed and facing severe challenges to continue working.”

Workshops included a focus on Digital Mobility with a focus on the Concerts SA opportunity as well as the Digital Futures? research & CSA Digital Mobility Fund Data, how to fundraise and work with sponsors and partners, legal agreements, and contracts, how to meet compliance standards and prepare evidence easily, marketing your music, marketing yourself; and online music production, which models work best?

For project enquiries, contact: | #ConcertsSA #DMF2021


Concerts SA is a live music project that has impacted over 12 000 artists and 900 venues across southern Africa. However, some of the venues have shut down due the impact of COVID19 and its subsequent lockdowns. Aimed at supporting live music, the Digital Mobility Fund finds its roots in the Concerts SA Music Mobility Fund. Initiated in 2013, with funding support for the pilot project from the British Council, the Music Mobility Fund offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake music tours across southern Africa. To encourage ongoing ‘movement’ in the locked-down music sector, Concerts SA opened the call for applications for the 2020 DIGITAL MOBILITY FUND in September 2020 and again in April this year. For more information, please visit our website, follow @ConcertsSA on Twitter, or like us on Facebook at

#DMF2020 Recipients: Siya Makuzeni & Darren English (Navi Yuga) performing at Soda Studios, Downtown Johannesburg, South Africa (June 2020).
#DMF2020 Recipients: Siya Makuzeni & Darren English (Navi Yuga) performing at Soda Studios, Downtown Johannesburg, South Africa (June 2020).


Since 1961, SAMRO has been the country’s music rights champion. We protect the rights of composers and authors (music creators) both locally and abroad. Collecting license fees from music users – television broadcasters, radio stations, in-store radio stations, pubs, clubs, retailers, restaurants, and all other businesses that use music. Today, SAMRO has grown into an internationally recognized collecting administration business representing more than 12, 000 music creators. It has built a solid reputation as the primary representative of music Performing Rights in Southern Africa and is well respected among its global peers in the music industry.
For more information on SAMRO, please visit our website, follow @SAMROMusic on Twitter, @SAMROSouthAfrica on Facebook and @SAMROmusic on Instagram


IKS is a consulting and project management agency based on sound research and analysis. IKS provides strategic consulting, planning and project management services in arts and culture. Established in 2004, IKS took over the management of the Concerts SA programme in April 2020.
Visit:, follow @IKSAfrica on Twitter or like IKS Africa on Facebook.