EarthSync at IOMMA & Sakifo 2016
IOMMA 2016 – a dynamic music market that features industry business development, networking sessions, showcase performances and conferences/panel discussions – successfully wrapped up its fifth edition in Reunion Island from May 30th – June 2nd. “Our 4 day music market IOMMA – a regional cooperation program co-financed by the European Union – was founded to encourage exchanges and opportunities between artists of Reunion Island and the countries around it” says Eric Juret of IOMMA, “Every year we invite an elite panel of 70 reputed professionals representing 10 countries from different sectors of the music industry – festivals, bookers, promoters, and music markets”. Each year, the IOMMA regional cooperation program is co-financed by the European Union.
Sonya Mazumdar of EarthSync – whose IndiEarth XChange is a long time partner to the Indian Ocean countries music market network initiated by IOMMA – was host to a panel discussion on Festival Programming. The panel featured festival directors from around the world hailing from festivals of varying styles and sizes, making for an engaging discussion on the USP, size, challenges, funding, and programming ethos that accompanies a successfully organized festival.
EarthSync’s longstanding partnership with IOMMA has nurtured a relationship of artistic exchange between the two culturally rich hubs of Reunion Island and India, and following this year’s edition of IOMMA more bridges are being built and future plans are brewing. “I had so many inspiring conversations on the arts industry with individuals from different parts of the world with their own challenges to face” says Mazumdar, “I am particularly inspired by the recently formed African Festival Network (South Africa, Mozambique, Reunion Island) that has already begun work in syncing festival calendars and sharing artists for touring – despite the huge challenges of varying infrastructure, logistics and distances.“
Currently in the works is a collaboration between EarthSync and IOMMA on a project that would create incredible global touring opportunities for Indian artists, as well as enable a rich cross section of sounds and artists from Africa and Reunion Island to be known in India. “It’s these sorts of projects that drive me; the heart and soul of our work” continues Mazumdar, “Our vision has been a sustained, consistent one to create traction, for development and growth of the arts and artists”.
The Sakifo Festival took place not long after from June 3rd – 5th, welcoming a whopping 20 000 people for the three day musical celebration that featured 40 bands of various genres from ten different countries. A hub of world class artists and innovative sounds, Sakifo is a gold mine of new musical discovery for avid audiences, venue owners, and festival programmer alike. “Sakifo –incredible international lineup!” says Mazumdar, “My recommendations would be acts like Songhoy Blues, Inna Modja, Too Many Zooz, The Dizzy Brains and Jain. I watched KOKOMO again, a brilliant act we first showcased in India at XChange, and saw my longtime favourite Babaa Maal! IOMMA also had a fantastic lineup, Réunionnais artists like Identité, Urbain Phileas, and Saodaj were very good, Mounawar was just brilliant, as was Roberto Chitsondzo from Mozambique”.
After being discovered by IOMMA’s programming heads during their performance at IndiEarth XChange 2015, South Indian folk troupe Tapatham also performed at this year’s edition of IOMMA and Sakifo. The powerful performance drew a huge crowd at Sakifo, a rare opportunity for traditional folk music from the remote corners of a South Indian village to be showcased on a world renowned international stage.
Photographs Courtesy: IOMMA 2016