Sound Central Festival - Alternative Arts Festival

Photography by David Gill; includes images of Sound Central's Women's Only Day.
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Country and Region AfghanistanKabul
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan and New York, New York, USA
Festival Contact Information

Travis Beard, Founder and Director
Kabul, Afghanistan
Daniel J. Gerstle, Producer
New York, USA

Festival Description

Sound Central Festival - Alternative Arts Festival is Afghanistan & Central Asia’s first regional rock music festival, as well as Afghanistan’s first rock festival since Ahmad Zahir’s show in 1975. It will be held in Kabul with opening and closing nights in New York. This is a critical time in the history of Afghanistan & Central Asia. Musicians and youth in the region are more empowered than ever before. But at the same time, the Taliban who banned recorded music when they controlled Afghanistan 1992-2001, as well as radicals from Iran to Uzbekistan, continue to threaten or harass musicians and modernists.

Sound Central focuses on Central Asia, which includes Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Neighbors Pakistan and Iran are also included. Global participation has been encouraged with the spotlight focused on emerging talent from the Central Asian region. Global performers, advisors, and organizers come also from Argentina, Australia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, UK, and the USA.

The New York events this fall will be fully publicized and we welcome your support! Any funds raised will go to supporting musician workshops and solidarity in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

The Kabul events which include a workshop for musicians, side shows, and a main event, all in late September and early October, will be announced to the public by invitation only and in Kabul at the very last minute for security purposes (hence, the world’s first “stealth” music festival).

Festival Dates May 1 - 5 and 30, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Story:

Sound Central Festival, a global event based in Kabul was created as a way to build solidarity in a non-partisan, not even political but simply musical way, You will be joining supporters as wide and wonderful as: Kabul Dreams (Afghan), Ariana Delawari (Afghan/USA), The Dresden Dolls (USA), Blurred Vision (Canada), Acrassicauda (Iraq), Eklektika (Kazakhstan), Tears of the Sun (Uzbekistan), Poor Rich Boys (Pakistan), and Maral (Iran).

If you are a sponsor or donor, please let us know your interest! We would love to have organizations who would like to cross-promote or advertise in any ways compatible with our cause including music companies, travel, mountain sports, and so on. We have two feature documentaries covering us, global media, music blogs, and will have big exposure in New York, Central Asia, and Afghanistan. This is not your average rock music festival.

Contact us if you’d like to sponsor, donate, recommend a VIP supporter, or other questions at:


Festival Events:

2013 schedule:
  • Women’s Day: May 30, 2013
  • Mixed Days: May 1 - 2. and 5, 2013
  • Final Gala Night: May 4, 2013


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