The first venue of the festival was the shade of a mango tree. Today the festival is staged at the new TaSUBa Theatre, a 2000-seat amphitheatre with modern sound and lighting facilities - the largest venue for performing arts in all of East Africa.
The festival dates back to the early days of the Bagamoyo College of Arts, the institute now known as TaSUBa. The festival was initially established to display the works of the students and teachers at the college. Since the start in 1982, the festival has grown to an annual 6-day event with performances of many different styles from many different countries.
The Bagamoyo Festival of Arts and Culture focuses mainly on Tanzanian and East African music, dance and theatre. Both traditional and contemporary performances are on display, roots and fusion hand in hand. Music include ngoma, afro jazz, bongo flava, reggae, African fusion and taarab.