Events Schedule

What`s On

Poetry (Live on Facebook)

3 June 2020 | 6 - 8pm (CAT)

Bulawayo Arts Festival Digital Launch

2 - 5 June 2020

Bulawayo Hot 100

Skyz Metro FM | 1 June 2020

Statement

BULAWAYO DAY & BULAWAYO ARTS FESTIVAL 2020 POSTPONED

Following the recent announcement by His .Excellency Emmerson D. Mnangagwa declaring the COVID-19 Lockdown Level 2 to stay on indefinitely, we would like to officially announce that the inaugural Bulawayo Day & Bulawayo Arts Festival scheduled for June 1-6 2020, has been POSTPONED to June 2021 (Exact dates to be announced in due course).


For the past few weeks, in conjunction with all the partners and stakeholders, we have been working hard to explore all avenues to put on this year's festival, including moving the dates to later in the year. However, due to the continuing uncertainty regarding holding of public gatherings, the increasing number of Corona virus positive cases, the threat to people’s health, and the potential need for an extended period of social distancing, we have taken the collective decision to suspend our 2020 programme as it was planned.


We will however still recognise June 1st as Bulawayo Day. We will also hold a digital launch and three special virtual/ online pop-up events from Wednesday 3rd June to Friday 5th June on the Byo Arts Festival & City of Bulawayo Facebook pages. The same programmes will also be posted on the BAF TV Channel on Youtube as delayed content. The Bulawayo Arts festival which was scheduled for 1-6 June 2020 was going to run under the theme “WOW” (short for We Own Winter) as all activities were expected to illuminate the usually not so active winter month in Zimbabwe. This virtual launch and footprint will adopt the same theme. The full listings & programme will be on our website & social media pages from May 30 2020. Please check here https://byoartsfestival.org for updated information then.


Some reasons for this decision have been because of international travel restrictions that will make it impossible for conference speakers and some festival performers to gain entry into the country. Restrictions on large scale assembly are likely to continue and events such as concerts and festivals may remain banned for the foreseeable future.


Our Fundraising initiatives for Bulawayo Day and Bulawayo Arts Festival have been profoundly affected by the pandemic. Some of our partners have temporarily suspended the funding of activities that fall outside the radar of COVID-19 response mechanisms. Corporates have been severely affected as well, with most recording huge losses and the risk of closure.


Whilst the immediate future is uncertain, we are optimistic that the pioneering spirit of the city festival will continue through various pop up events during the year and leading to June 2021. So, whilst we are suspending our 2020 plans for now, encouraging our creatives and audiences to stay at home and fully supporting our artists’ withdrawal from this year’s festival, please be assured that we remain committed to re-launching fully in 2021.


The celebration of Bulawayo Day and the hosting of the Bulawayo Arts Festival aims to provide a stage for new and established artists and enable local people and our global visitors to participate meaningfully in the cultural life of the city. It also provides an opportunity for Bulawayo to showcase its proud heritage, rich diversity, creative nature, resilience and majesty. This explosion of arts and culture will put Bulawayo on the global spotlight and encourage its tourism and business. We are very sad to have had to make this decision – particularly for the many artists who were billed and had made such great work and for all the audiences and people for whom the festival is so important. We’ll be in touch once we have more news and dates for the future but for now, stay safe and look out for each other.



About Us

The celebration of Bulawayo Day and the hosting of the Bulawayo Arts Festival aims to enable local people and our global visitors to participate meaningfully in the cultural life of the city, and it provides an opportunity for Bulawayo to showcase its proud heritage, rich diversity, creative nature, resilience and majesty. This explosion of arts and culture will put Bulawayo on the global spotlight and encourage its tourism and business potential.

The Bulawayo Arts festival will be held from 1-5 June 2020 under the theme “WOW” (short for We own Winter) as all activities will illuminate the usually not so active winter month in Zimbabwe.

The inaugural Bulawayo Arts Festival will be held from 1-5 June 2020. This citywide international arts festival will be anchored by a day of the celebration of Bulawayo being declared as a city.

Bulawayo was established as a town in 1894 on the site of King Lobengula’s capital and acquired municipal status in 1897. From this proud history of African royalty dating back to and beyond Kings Mzilikazi and Lobengula, Bulawayo city is a creative capital in the Southern African region constantly churning out talent and arts products that have been consumed the world over.

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