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

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

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 November 20, 2015 at 12:03 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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Music Freedom Day tweets

Posted on March 3, 2015 at 11:55 by Freemuse · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Events scheduled for Music Freedom Day 2015

Music Freedom Day on 3 March is established as an international day to celebrate freedom of expression and to demonstrate support for persecuted and threatened artists on the music stage worldwide.

Since the freedom of expression organisation Freemuse took the initiative in 2007, more than 100 partners in 36 countries have joined, and Music Freedom Day today is an important celebration of the freedom to create and to play music without intimidation or persecution.

The following events and activities in the pipeline for Music Freedom Day 2015 on 3 March:


• Canada Broadcasting Corporation will be posting three articles on and talk about the event on their national shows on the day.

Albert Reguant

Albert Reguant


• In Barcelona, Albert Reguant, director of Les Rutes del So (The Routes of Sound), Ona Sants Montjuïc de Barcelona, is collaborating with Freemuse around Music Freedom Day for the eight consecutive year. He will be broadcasting a special radio programme devoted to the theme of the day. The show is broadcasted live every Thursday night, but on this occasion it will be re-broadcast on 3 March.
“The show will highlight a selection of musicians who have been censored or have their works censored, who have been exiled, or who are, or have been, victims of the silence of the media in their respective countries. This year the song ‘Je suis Charly’ stands out. It was composed by French songwriter FRANCIS LALANNE. Also featured: a song Syrian-Kurdish musician GANI MIRZO. The disappeared Mexican group KOMBO KOLOMBIA, killed by drug traffickers. The duet composed of singer Egyptian RAMI ESSAM and the American singer MIGHTY SAM McCLAIN. Basque songwriter BENITO LERTXUNDI and songwriters of the Catalan countries, MARIA del MAR BONET and LLUIS LLACH, singers who are marginalised today in various public radio stations in the Spanish state. The program is produced and presented by Albert Reguant, internationally recognised specialist music journalist, member of the World Music Charts Europe, and of other international organisations.”

» Podcast:



• In Bologna, among the artists who will be present on Saturday 28 February 2015 at the Circle Bertasi Via Fioravanti for the 2015 edition of Music Freedom Day – at 4pm for the conference and at 9pm for the poetry and music performances – are: Davide Ferrari, Vincenzo Bagnoli, Sergio Rotino, Marinella Polidori, Antonietta Laterza, Pierfrancesco Pacoda, Silvia Parma, Ciavatti Othello, William Pagnozzi, Cico Giramundo, Gianluca Morozzi, Oderso Rubini, Nicola Bagnoli, Pino de March, Salvatore de Siena, Salvatore Panu, and others. Admission is free. Organised by Hibrido Radio with partners.




• In Casablanca, Roots in partnership with Freemuse is organising a series of activities to promote the right to artistic expression through music under the theme headline ‘Freedom is the solution’.
Location: Rialto Cinema, Casablanca.
18:30: Opening
19:00: Screening of ‘Free Word’ directed by Stéphane Le Gall-Viliker (2014)
20:00: Concert: Monza (Mauritania)
21:00: Debate
22:00: Concert: Barry Morocco (Morocco)

All age groups: 50 DHS
Students and under 25: 30 DHS

» Facebook event page



• In Harstad, Music Freedom Day will be marked with an international conference during the day and a concert in the evening. Artists who cannot express themselves freely in their homeland will meet Nordic and local musicians on the stage in Harstad Culture House.
Organisers: SafeMuse – Safe Havens Music Initiative in cooperation with Harstad Municipality, Culture in Troms and Harstad Culture House.

• In Oslo at Kulturkirken Jakob, a Redzone Music Freedom Day Concert is organised on 3 March at 7:30pm.
International Music Freedom Day, (Founded by Freemuse) featuring: Elias Akselsen, (Norway), Vahan Kerovpyan, Murat İçlinalça and Ashug Leyli (Armenia), Dengbej Kazo and Dengbej Gazin (Anatolia), Marjan Vahdat (Iran), Kamancheh: Shervin Mohajer (Iran), Drums: Rune Arnesen (Norway), Bass: Gjermund Silset (Norway)
Tickets: NOK 250
Hausmanns Gate 14

• Also in Oslo, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra marks Music Freedom Day: Dimitri Shostakovich stands as a symbol of the strength of art and the importance of music throughout history. In the Soviet Union he lived under constant threat from Stalin’s terror, paradoxically, while his music was essential to lift morale and exuberance in the Russian people.
The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra will mark Music Freedom Day at their concert 3 March in Oslo by playing the Chamber Symphony by Shostakovich.
» Video at



• Cultural Journalists Forum (CJF) plans to conduct a folk musical concert in Peshawar where folk singers from Fata and different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are invited to perform.

• At the Peshawar Press Club at 2 pm under the theme ‘Music will not be silenced – Warka Dang’ (Warke Dang is pashtu and means ‘play it’) Mr Amjid Afridi, Minister for Culture and Tourism in the Government of KP, will grace the occasion along with singers, musicians, stakeholders, civil society, media, guests, show business ambassadors and music industry professionals. The event will proceed with speeches followed by music performances by renowned singers from KP and FATA.

• On the same day, a 150 minutes television live talk show will be transmitted on the international satelite pashtu channel called AVT KHYBER.

• Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation is organising the event ‘Don’t kill the song – Music Concert and Playing Documentaries’ on 3 March at 14:00 in Archives Hall, Peshawar.
» Facebook event page

• Journalist Sher Alam Shinwari has published a piece on the plight of cultural activities with special focus on music and musicians in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata:



• In Dakar, Africulturban celebrates the Music Freedom Day with an event about hip-hop, freedom of expression and censorship. The event takes place at the Goethe Institute starting from 4pm. Panelists: Zuman, Keyti, Fou Malade, and Bouba Sow. Free entry.

» Association Africulturban

United Kingdom

• Ulfah Arts has taken part in the Music Freedom Day event previously by doing a 24 hour broadcast. They will be doing this again for 2015. The broadcast will include artists, organisations, general public and people from around the world including Bangladesh, Bosnia and Egypt.




• The National Coalition Against Censorship, Freemuse and Spectrum present a listening party and live performance showcasing the work of at-risk, banned, and imprisoned musicians and composers from around the world. The event will take place on 3 March 2015 and will include a pre-premiere screening of an excerpt of ‘They Will Have To Kill Us First’, a documentary about the brutal suppression of music in Mali. Live performances will include Casualty Process, an electronic music project that originated in the Iranian underground, Ravenact (an NYC/Berlin duo) and a the NYC/Florida trio Burton/Beeferman/Cochrane. The evening will also feature remarks by hosts Svetlana Mintcheva, director of programs for the National Coalition Against Censorship, and Austin Dacey, creator of the Impossible Music Sessions.
Spectrum is at 121 Ludlow Street, Floor 2, Manhattan NY 10002. Subway access is easy from the F (Delancey stop), J, M and Z (Essex stop) lines.

Todd Wayne Barrow will be performing at the White Elephant Saloon Ft. Worth, Texas on 3 March 2015 at 7pm where he will mention Music Freedom Day.



• In Harare on Sunday 1 March, a big concert celebrating Music Freedom Day is planned in the townships. From 2 to 7 pm.

Freemuse has furthermore received information that events are currently being planned in Germany. Watch this space.

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 23:33 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




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 February 23, 2015 at 02:00 by Freemuse · Permalink · Comments Closed
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