The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) in partnership with the National Theater and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts successfully organized the first ever Ghana Music Festival at the National Theatre and Accra Sports Stadium from March 4th to March 10th 2013.
The week-long celebration was officially openedby Mrs. Elizabeth OfosuAgyare, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. The impressive ceremony was attended by top musicians, key music industry players and other stakeholders as well as some past executives of the Union.
“In all, we didextremely good on our set target of attracting about 20,000 visitors to the 7-day event; considering theimpressive patronage of the Ghana Unity Concert at the Accra Sports Stadium on March 6, and the Ghana Music Honours on March 9, aside several other visitors who came to the National Theaterthroughout the week”, says VerusNartey, a member of the GMW Planning Committee.
President of Musiga,Bice Osei Kuffour a.ka.Obour added: “One key goal that I’m pleased my team and I managed to achieve was creating the industry’s biggest platform that bring together and encourage participation of artists, stakeholders, the media, decision/policy makers etc.The importance and value of Ghanaian music formswas recognized, promoted& underscored during the week; and to a large extend, we achieved that goal considering that no single event has been able to attract such heavyweight actson one platform in recent times”
On Saturday, March 9, 2013, twelve deserving musicians and key industry personalities were awarded by MUSIGA in a hitch-free awards show dubbed Ghana Music Honours (GMH).
Among personalities who received awards include World Bank Ghana senior Communications Director, Mr. Kofi Tsikata,who won the Music Industry Development Honor;Professor John Collinswho won the Music TutorHonour, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporationthat won the Music Promoter Honor while the Music Band Honour was received by Dan Grahl’sShabbo Crew.
The President’s Choice Honor was posthumously awarded to late President John Evans Atta-Mills while Reggae\Dancehall Musician Honor was presented to Samini. Highlife Musician Honour went to Nana Ampadu, while Hiplife Musician Honor was presented to Reggie Rockstone. The Gospel Musician Honor was received by Prof. Kofi Abraham, while the Traditional Music Honor went to Agya Koo Nimo. The Music Producer\Sound Engineer Honor was presented to Francis Kwakye, with Rocky Dawuni receiving the International Act Honor.
Performers on the night include Osibisa, Nana Tuffour, Samini, Rocky Dawuni, Nana Ampadu and Amani (Kenya), Tagoe Sisters, Okyeame Kwame, Sonni Badu, Kaakie, J. Martins (Nigeria) and Becca
Ghana Unity Concert, held on March 6 at the Accra Sports Stadium also featured over 56 hit songs performed by the crème de la crème of Ghanaian musicians including Sarkodie, KwawKesse, Edem, KojoAntwi, Nicholas OmaneAcheapong, Pat Thomas, VIP, Rocky Dawuni, Tic Tac, J- Martyns (Nigeria) Ras Kimono (Nigeria), GiftyOsei, Rex Omar, Black Rasta, Jupitar, Iwan, Tinny, Eno, Efya, Eazzy, KwabenaKwabena, E.L.
Okay FM’s Abeiku Santana and comedian Funny Face were the hosts.
Earlier in the week, two Seminars were held as part of the celebration. One was on ‘Growing the Creative Arts Industry, the role of Music’ and the other was on ‘Managing the Business of Music’. Resource persons who added their expertise at the Seminar includeKorkorAmarteifio, Executive Director for the Institute for Music Development, Rev Thomas Yawson, Director of Gospel Music at MUSIGA, Emily Leona Stewart, Naomi Joy Mac Donald and Diane Barbara Widdisson of the British Musicians Union, MrSakey,a Film Maker, and Samuel Boateng, a Music Consultant based in the USA, as well as Diana Hopeson, former MUSIGA President.
The Seminars dealt with such issues as health, safety and performance wellness, getting to the top, monetizing a music career, music contracts as well as policies concerning music in Ghana. Other activities of the week includeSales and Exhibitions and live music performances staged throughout the week on a giant stage at the Forecourt of the National Theater.
The 2013 Ghana Music Week was sponsoredRLG Communications, Airtel, Smirnoff and TVC ltd, with support fromGlobal Access Savings and Loans, Ashfoam, British Council, Eurostar Limousine, Erata Hotel, Hanlord Travel & Tours, Fiesta and Kiss Condom(DKT International), E-volution, EKB, and organized by MUSIGA, Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts and 20 years of the National Theater.