This years Music Freedom Day is dedicated to memory the victims of the attack at the Bataclan Club in Paris in november 2015. It will be a day for everyone fighting for human rights such as the right to perform and listen to music and to do so without any fear.

In 2007, Freemuse took the initiative to establish Music Freedom Day. Since then, more than 30 countries have joined this day through different initiatives all over the world. Music Freedom day on 3 March every year is the international day to celebrate freedom of expression and to stand united against threats and silencing of artists and musicians around the globe. It is an important day where the focus lies in the freedom to create and to participate in cultural events, without any fear or limitations.

Everyone can participate in this day to celebrate freedom of expression, no matter what country you live in. It is just as important and relevant everywhere. You can for example create a workshop, arrange a lecture about the subject, create a playlist of censored music, talk about censorship with a friend or dedicate a song during a performance. What you do is not what matters, it is that you do something.

Events are currently being planned in Zimbabwe, Morocco, Senegal, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

A powerful, united manifestation

2015 saw the worst ever attack on a music audience when terrorists killed almost 90 people at the Bataclan Club in Paris. Music Freedom Day on 3 March 2016 is dedicated to memory the victims, their families and everyone insisting on the right to perform and listen to music.

Music Freedom Day is a powerful, united manifestation to support persecuted, prosecuted and imprisoned musicians, many of whose only crime has been that they have spoken up against authorities and insisted on the right to express themselves through their music. Furthermore it is a day to highlight the role and impact of music in our societies. Worldwide, musicians’ and composers’ rights to freedom of expression are being violated.

Music is a human right and so is the right to access music events without fear.

You can join Music Freedom Day by organising an event, a discussion, dedicate a song during a performance… the options are manifold.

cover_200px-w-shadowFind inspiration for Music Freedom Day 2016 from the past nine years in this book

How to become a part of this event
Freemuse invites musicians, music promoters as well as musicians’ unions and music journalists to participate in this global advocacy event.

If you are ready to speak up for musician’s human rights and freedom of expression, then send an e-mail to Music Freedom Day’s secretariat at and share with others that you have made up your mind and decided to join this collective advocacy event.

What musicians can do
There are many ways in which you can do something on 3 March in order to mark the day and let persecuted musicians know that they have your support. This page has some tips specifically for individual musicians who have been thinking of joining or supporting the initiative:

Download graphics
Download Music Freedom Day logo for poster, website or t-shirt

Calendar page on Facebook
Music Freedom Day 2016 calendar event page on Facebook:

Freemuse’s Facebook-page:

Role of Freemuse
Music Freedom Day is an advocacy event — not for Freemuse, but for the persecuted musicians. The various events around the planet are self-organised by artists, cultural operators and media operators. The role of Freemuse is primarily to provide coordination, knowledge and awareness. Freemuse is unable to provide financial support.

This website for Music Freedom Day is provided and maintained by Freemuse as a forum for the Music Freedom Day activists and organisers – for coordination, inspiration and publicity.

Brief history of Music Freedom Day

During the past nine years, more than 100 partners and collaborators in almost 40 countries
have joined Music Freedom Day. The idea of designating a specific day to highlight the right to
freedom of musical expression was born in November 2006 in Istanbul, when Freemuse held a successful international conference on music and censorship. Initially a suggestion from Ann MacKeigan from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Music Freedom Day has been marked by organisations, musicians and media in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America.

Posted on January 14, 2016 at 12:03 by Freemuse · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Events scheduled for Music Freedom Day 2016

GermanyItaly | Norway | Pakistan | Spain | | Sweden | USA | In the pipeline |


Funkhaus Europa

The radio broadcast Funkhaus Europa will pay attention to Music Freedom Day at the radio broadcast

You can find the radio program here:

Jülich – near Cologne

Kultur ohne Grenzen (Culture without Borders) – a German organisation which supports artists in exile – is planning a Music Freedom Day event on 20 March 2016 in Jülich near Cologne.

At the cultural centre Kulturbahnhof the following musicians will be performing:

Hossam Shaker and his trio
• Crossover Baghdad Köln with Bassem Hawar (Djoze) and Albrecht Maurer (violin/vedel, viola)
• “Bandari Trance” Syavash Rastani (Percussion) and Javid Pajazdan (ney-anban)
• Manfred Leuchter (Accordion) & Mohamed Najem (Clarinet)



5 March 2016 a music, poetry and arts festival will take place in Bologna. It is organised by Associazione Culturale il Mostro, Associazione Culturale Bo Ground, Hibrido Radio and Laboratorio Sociale Afrobeat. During the festival, a printed and online magazine will be introduced with articles about music and art censorship.

For more information, visit:

The event will also be streamed, more information about that is to be announced.





The Harstad Conference on Freedom of Artistic Expression
The Harstad Music Freedom Night
2-3 March 2016

Presented by SafeMUSE – Safe Music Havens Initiative – in close collaboration with the City of Harstad and Culture Troms, Troms County Council.

Partners and funders: Freemuse, Deeyah Khan – Fuuse AS, Harstad Concert Hall, Finnish Musicians Union, HIAP – Nordic Fresh Air Network, Perpetuum Mobile, NOPA – Norwegian Society of Composers and Lyricists, Norwegian Society of Composers, MFO – Norwegian Musicians Union, Samspill International Music Network, Nordic Black Theatre, SKAP – Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, City of Malmö – Culture Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway, Nordic Culture Point.

• Annual international gathering and networking event
• Celebrating freedom of artistic expression
• Inspiring safe residencies and placements of persecuted artists and artists at risk
• Showcasing the work of guest artists
• 2016 focusing on art and activism

More information at:


Cultural Journalist Forum (CJF)

In Pakistan, The Cultural Journalist Forum (or CJF)  is doing events around the country for Music Freedom Day.




In Catalonia, the Catalan singers are suffering censorship in various Spanish radio stations. Therefor the radio program
Les Rutes del So  will highlight music & songs from artists who are censored in the country or in other countries public radio.



Linnaeus University

Music and Event Management together with Linnaeus Univeristy in Kalmar, will this year be a part of Music Freedom Day.
On the 16th of February, a guest lecture with Ole Reitov from Freemuse will be held in Kalmar for the students at the Linnaeus University.



Radio AF

Radio AF is one of the biggest student radios in Sweden and on the 3rd of March they will dedicate time to Music Freedom Day on the radio.
At the official Web-page you will be able to stream the program and find out more.


Sveriges Radio

Sveriges Radio and the program P2 Världen, a radio show focusing on music from everywhere around the world, has been a part of Music Freedom Day for many years. They will be a part of it this year as well, highlighting Music Freedom Day on and around the 3rd of March at the radio show.



The swedish podcast Tondöv is going to address censorship and freedom of expression as a part of Music Freedom Day. They will also interview Emelie Draper at Hårdrock Mot Rasism about the subject.

More information about where you can listen to the podcast is to be published.


They Will Have To Kill Us First – Malian music in exile

They Will have To Kill Us First  is a documentary about Malian music in exile, following musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. As a part of Music Freedom Day, BBC World Wide North America will release the documentary on 4 March at Village East Cinema in New York and on 1 April at Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles.


Potential participation for Music Freedom Day 2016

Below is a list of organisers around the world who currently are working on doing something in relation to Music Freedom Day 2016. What exactly they will be doing on the day, and whether they will eventually succeed in organising it or not, is yet to be confirmed. More information about these potential events will be announced in near future.

ETC Newspaper
The swedish newspaper ETC is planning on drawing attention to Music Freedom Day and what it is about.

Groupie Hultsfred
Groupie is a student association in the town called Hultsfred, in Sweden. They are a part of the Linnaeus University and consists of students from the program Music an Event Management. They plan on doing something within the association and in Hultsfred to highlihgt Music Freedom Day.

Lilla Klubben
The concert venue called Söderport, located in kalmar Sweden, hosts the club Lilla Klubben during the year. Lilla Klubben is planning to highlight Music Freedom Day with an event taking place at Söderport.

The concert venue and culture house Mejeriet in Lund, Sweden, is planning on being a part of the day at social media.

Nätverket 50/50
The national network of organisations in Sweden, working for gender equality on and around the music stage in Sweden – Nätverket 50/50 – is planning on highlighting the 3 March 2016 on social media.

The festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, focusing on cultural diversity and community – Picknickfestivalen – is planning on being a part of Music Freedom Day at social media.

Summit Management
Summit Management is a management in Sweden working with artists and musicians. They plan to be a part of the day at social media.

Talent Coach
Talent Coach is a project where the focus is for Swedish music professionals to come together to bring out new music from Sweden. They are planning on being a part of Music Freedom Day by giving it attention on social media.

Posted on January 12, 2016 at 13:59 by Freemuse · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Download Music Freedom Day logo for poster, website or t-shirt

Technical tip
To copy the banner or logo, first click on one of the links to the right of the logo. Each one links to a different sized logo. Right-click on it and choose “Copy” or “Save Picture As…”.
On a Mac, instead of right-clicking, press the ‘CTRL’-key while you click on the banner

391 x 79 pixel

196 x 40 pixel

120 x 26 pixel

300 dpi:
High res for print

With white background:
300 x 87 pixel

With black background:
300 x 87 pixel

‘Spread the word’:
170 x 255 pixel – animated

Download logo for t-shirt

Right-click on link and select ‘Save Target As’ to start downloading the file

Adobe Illustrator-file

Adobe Illustrator-file




Download book

cover_200px-w-shadowFind inspiration for Music Freedom Day from the past nine years in this book

Freemuse banners


Web banners

250 x 65 pixel
125 x 33 pixel
76 x 17 pixel

90 x 90 pixel – animated

513 x 100 pixel
462 x 90 pixel
300 x 60 pixel

200 x 200 pixel – animated

Vector-files for t-shirt print

Click here

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 02:00 by Freemuse · Permalink · Comments Closed
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Inspiration for musicians who already have a concert scheduled on 3 March

Are you a musician who already have scheduled a performance on 3 March – and would you like to join the Music Freedom Day campaign?

Music Freedom Day is an “advocacy and awareness event”. By simply including a dedication from the stage, or in a live radio interview, a presentation, or on your concert poster, you are automatically part of the global event.

Whether you are a school choir or a world famous band you can make a difference and show your solidarity with colleagues around the world who suffer from censorship, blacklisting, bans, repression, death threats, imprisonment or harassments.

Freemuse does not expect any financial contributions, but we invite bands, musicians, choirs, orchestra and individuals to join us. Should you wish to join, you are most welcome to make use of the “dedication samples” below, or create your own. If you send us a note we will also publish your name and place of the event here on our website.

You may use all our material for free, as long as you state the source: Freemuse.
(On websites preferably with a clickable link which points at or


What to say?
Here are six different suggestions to what you could tell your audience during performances on 3 March, or in the week up til 3 March. You could also place a dedication text on your poster, or on your website.
Feel free to make other dedications or to change our suggestions so they that feel right when you say them:

Dedication – example #1
“This performance is part of Music Freedom Day – an annual global event advocating freedom of musical expression. We join colleagues round the world and Freemuse – The World Forum on Music and Censorship – in their advocacy of human rights.”

Dedication – example #2
“All around the world thousands of our musical colleagues are censored by regimes who do not subscribe to musicians’ and composers’ right to freedom of musical expression.
Tonight we join thousands of music lovers in celebrating Music Freedom Day – organised by Freemuse, the World Forum on Music & Censorship.
We thank you for supporting musicians’ and composers’ right to freedom of expression.”

Dedication – example #3
“Can you imagine a country without music? Well, the Taliban in Afghanistan can. They are trying hard to stop everyone there from playing music, blowing up CD-shops with bombs, and giving fines to people who play music in their cars.
Today we join colleagues round the world and celebrate Music Freedom Day and the right to freedom of musical expression
Freemuse is an organisation advocating our rights to musical freedom. Their motto is “Music will not be silenced” – let’s join them.”

Dedication – example #4
“Imagine the world without music. Or imagine a world where we are told what to play, what to sing and even what we may listen to in the privacy of our own homes. That world already exists. In more countries that you might imagine, musicians and composers are under threat. And that threat is growing.
Today we therefore join Freemuse – the World Forum on Music & Censorship – and colleagues all over the world in the celebration of Music Freedom Day. This concert is dedicated to the freedom of musical expression, and the motto is Music will not be silenced ”

Dedication – example #5
“Music and musicians have always generated enemies. Stalin censored modern composers. Hitler banned all jazz music and music by Jewish composers. US media censored the country band Dixie Chicks, and the Taliban in Afghanistan still tries to stop all music whatsoever.
Today we celebrate Music Freedom Day – an annual global event advocating freedom of musical expression. We join colleagues round the world and Freemuse – The World Forum on Music & Censorship – in their advocacy of human rights, and we say “Music will not be silenced” ”

Dedication – example #6
“Today ( / this week) we celebrate “Music Freedom Day” together with colleagues round the world. We dedicate this concert (/ song) to our fellow musicians* who have been banned, and to the work of Freemuse – the World Forum on Music & Censorship.”
(* see list of artists )


Spread the word!

• You can place a music freedom day banner on your home page, (clickable, referring people to when they click on the banner)

• You can place a little “ad” in the signature in the bottom of your emails, saying something like:

Music Freedom Day: 3 March.

Music Freedom Day
Musicians and broadcasters participate in
a global event on the subject of music and
censorship on 3 March. Join us!

(…or simply place a little clickable banner there.)

• You can tell your musician friends about the event, about this page on, and that they can also join.

• You can spread the word by telling about this event in your private blog, in the online music forums which you are a member of, or by suggesting to your friends on Facebook that they should press ‘I like’ to

• Come up with more ideas, and send them to us.

Let us know what you plan to do, so that we can inform about it on this Music Freedom Day home page. Send an e-mail to, so we can include your name on the list which is published to media world-wide.


Posted on January 3, 2016 at 12:33 by Freemuse · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Music Freedom Day 2015 reports and media coverage


#MusicFreedomDay 2015

Music Freedom Day was celebrated on March 3. In 2015 events were held around the world including #Barcelona #Bologna #Casablanca #Dakar #Harare #Harstad #Peshawar #NewYork #Oslo.

Here are some highlights:


CBC posted three articles from 2014 on and talked about it on their national shows on 3 March:

» The Music Freedom playlist: songs of exile, protest and hope

» When the caged bird sings: making music in our darkest moments

» Bluegrass virtuoso Mike Stevens taps the power of music in Canada’s north


» Beijing Bulletin – 4 March 2015:
Pakistani Musicians Seek Government Promotion, Protection


» Musikeren – 3 March 2015:
Ytringsfrihed i musikken fejres i dag (‘Freedom of expression in music celebrated today’)
Freemuse focuses on musical freedom of expression today with international Musical Freedom Day. By Birgitte Theresia Henriksen (in Danish language)



Associazione Culturale Consonanze – Alfabetamusica – shared the photo above with the following message:

Only one motto for different generations:
“Music will not be silenced”

Myanmar / Burma

Mun Awng’s Burmese concert was held on 3 March, Music Freedom Day. The day was an initiative of Freemuse, an organisation that advocates freedom of expression for musicians, in 2007, and is a celebration of the freedom to create and to play music without intimidation or persecution.

Mun Awng became known in the 1980s for his protest songs calling for democracy, peace and an end to military rule in Burma. After taking part in the 1988 democratic uprising that was crushed by the military, he fled the country, having grown increasingly frustrated with the censorship board’s control over song lyrics. He was granted asylum in Norway, where he continued to write songs calling for democracy in Burma.

» Kolkata News – 3 March 2015:
Why these censors can’t stop the music 
On 3 March 2015, Mun Awng, a well-known Burmese exiled singer, will hold his first concert in Burma in more than 25 years. Trefford: The day was an initiative of Freemuse, an organisation that advocates freedom of expression


» Utrop – 6 March 2015:
Sanger om ikke å glemme (‘Songs about not to forget’)
Report from the event at Kirkelig Kulturverksted, in Norwegian language

» Harstad Tidende – 4 March 2015:
Slik var Music Freedom Day i Harstad
Contains video clip from the concert at the Harstad Music Freedom Day event

» Stortinget – 3 March 2015:
Stortingspresidenten åpnet konferanse om forfulgte musikere

» NRK – 3 March 2015:
Eg brukte musikken for å overleve (‘Eg uses the music to survive’)

» NRK – 3 March 2015: 
Musikere blir også forfulgt (‘Musicians are persecuted as well’)

» Harstad Tidende – 3 March 2015:
Harstad fikk friby-pris (‘Harstad gets Safe City award’)

» Harstad Tidende – 3 March 2015:
Stortingspresidenten: Harstad er en musikkby (‘Harstad is a music town’)

» Musikkultur – 2 March 2015:
Fribymusikere spiller for ytringsfrihet (‘Safe city musicians perform for freedom of expression’)

» Harstad Tidende – 1 March 2015:
Internasjonalt møte
(‘International meeting’)

» Harstad Tidende – 1 March 2015:
Spiller for fred i Midt-Østen (‘Performs for peace in the Middle East’)
Abazar Hamid is one of four safe city musicians who will be performing duing Music Freedom Day in Harstad on 3 March. Article by Åse Hjelvik (in Norwegian language)

» Distriktsprogram – Troms og Finnmark:
Morra i NRK P1

» Harstad Tidende – 26 Februar 2015:
Stortingspresidenten åpner Music Freedom Day (‘Parliament president will open Music Freedom Day’)

» Harstad Kommune – 25 February 2015:
Music Freedom Day Harstad 2015



“Pakistan musicians celebrated Music Freedom Day on Tuesday in Peshawar, with a plea to “Don’t Kill the Song.”
Singers at the event, organised by the Takhleeq Development Foundation, told VOA Deewa that religious intolerance in the region has contributed to what they argue is the government’s failure to protect Pakistani musicians and other artists from religious persecution and to promote their cultural contributions.”

» Voice of America – 3 March 2015:
Pakistani Musicians Seek Government Promotion, Protection


Event at Peshawar Press Club
Takhleeq Development Foundation (TDF) and Culture Journalists Forum (CJF) jointly organised a Music Freedom Day event at Peshawar Press Club which was attended by a good number of singers, musicians, poets, civil society, journalists, relevant government officials, music activists, artists and stake holders.

The occasion was graced by Mr Amjid Afridi, Minister for Sports, Culture & Tourism, Govt of KP, as chief guest. The event started with speeches and demands, covering topics such as freedom of artistic expression, music and conflict focusing on KP & FATA cases, announcing of culture policy, free Nishtar Hall – a culture complex which according to campaigners should be reserved for art and culture activities – renovation of Nishtar Hall, artists protection, restructuring of culture directorate, financial assistance to needy artists and musicians, and prioritising the cultural sector in KP & FATA.

Minister Afridi assured his full cooperation and agreed to all genuine demands. The event was signed off with music performances by re-noted singers. For electronic and print media coverage, kindly see video clips and links at


“The Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation (PCF) organised an event at Archives Library Hall on Tuesday to commemorate World Music Freedom Day, observed every year on 3 March.
A large number of musicians performed at the event and a documentary on how militancy and the government’s apathy have affected the music industry in the province was also screened. Moreover, musicians discussed the challenges faced by them in the province.”

» The Express Tribune – 4 March 2015:
The day the music died: Government flayed for turning blind eye to music industry


» The Frontier Post – 3 March 2015:
Music Freedom Day on Tuesday

» Dawn – 3 March 2015:
Veteran Pashto singer consigned to oblivion
By Sher Alam Shinwari




“Created to celebrate Music Freedom Day, this short film is a companion to the feature length documentary They Will Have to Kill us First. Can the musicians of Mali rescue their music in exile? Featuring music from Songhoy Blues, Khaira Arby, Vieux Farka Touré and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)”

» The Guardian – 3 March 2015:
‘There’s no life without music’: the Malian musicians fighting Islamists with songs – video
The film ‘They Will Have to Kill us First’ is promoted on the Guardian homepage to celebrate Music Freedom Day.


“Freemuse and other organisations document cases of imprisonment, attacks, and censorship as various governments and non-state actors attempt to silence the music. And yet, despite these obstacles, songs of a political nature make it to the airwaves and musicians defy bans. Today we celebrate those who find a way to share their music with the rest of us.”

» IFEX – 3 March 2015:
Why these censors can’t stop the music

The Netherlands

» VPRO – 3 March 2015:
Music Freedom Day – Vier de vrijheid van muziek


United Kingdom

In Edinburgh, Radical Voices Edinburgh has monthly evenings of song and poetry with a different theme each month. The sessions are free and they ask for contributions from those who attend to give to an appropriate group or cause. On 22 March 2015, the theme was Music Freedom Day, and GBP 60 was collected for Freemuse, which has since then been donated to the organisation.


» Adventures of a Riot Grrrl – 3 March 2015:
Fight Censorship With Music Freedom Day



“The evening at Spectrum started out with music from censored artists, accompanied with information about the artists and their personal history facing censorship.”

» National Coalition Against Censorship – 5 March 2015:
Music Freedom Day in New York
By Sunna Reitov Korpe

» Star Tribune – 6 March 2015:
The information counterrevolution
Two recent reports document a worldwide decline in freedom of information. Article by John Rash

Posted on March 4, 2015 at 12:38 by Freemuse · Permalink · One Comment
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