BIMC ’21: Life Inside and Outside the COVID-19 Bubble

The 2021 edition of BIMC is bringing the crème dela crème of music to engage on emerging trends of doing music business in the midst of the pandemic


Organisers of the annual Botswana International Music Conference (BIMC) are putting the final touches on preps for this year’s installment of the conference whose theme is “Life Inside and Outside the COVID-19 Bubble.” Slated for 24 and 25 March 2021, which is an earlier date than all its predecessors, comes after BIMC took a year off in 2020 and will be returning as a digital edition.

“We used last year to benchmark on how virtual events work because we had to adapt to the new normal,” said conference founder, Seabelo Modibe in an interview. “This conference is also reliant on funding and was approved late. It takes four months to prepare for the event, so we decided to stage it early this year.”

COVID-19 is forcing musicians to be creative if they should survive the global pandemic. The virus has effectively put the multimillion-concert industry on an indefinite pause with catastrophic knock-on effects. Themed “Life Inside and Outside the COVID-19 Bubble,” the conference seeks to help creatives find their footing amid the crisis.
“We are bringing experts to tell us how we can make money in this new era and sharing the emerging trends to look out for in the business of music,” Modibe said.

The conference usually attracts the music industry’s best who engage on the how to stay on top of the game. The 2021 edition of the conference will host veteran South African deejay and producer Tira who has managed to stay afloat and perform amid the pandemic. Botswana native who long expatriated to South Africa, Thato Sikwane, better known as DJ Fresh, is another notable who will be share on the power of working or plugging into other people and the contribution of his record label to the industry.

Founders of Music Imbizo, which is the fastest growing international music business conference based in Durban, Sphe Mbhele and Zakhele Mzalazala, will also be present. Locally the conference will host Tonderai Tsara from The Dialogue Group and intellectual property and copyright expert, Mothusi Lesolebe.

“These are the headlining speakers and we will keep unveiling others. Although this is a virtual edition, we will be flying in our speakers into the country because we do not want connection problems. Attendants will be given a password to log into the conference and view online,” says Modibe.

Founded in 2015, the flagship conference aims to expose music industry practitioners to the music business value chain and has over the years grown to become a pivotal platform for the advancement of the industry.