MTN Bushfire Festival - Swaziland's International Festival of the Arts

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Country and Region SwazilandHhohho
Type of Festival Dance, Drama, Literary, Music
Location of Festival Malkerns Valley, Hhohho, Swaziland
Festival Contact Information

Bushfire Festival
Phone/fax: +268 528-2110

Festival Description

Backlit by fiery mountain sunsets across acres of pristine farmland, MTN BUSHFIRE is Swaziland’s internationally acclaimed three day music & arts festival that celebrates creative expression whilst promoting social responsibility, stimulating the economy, and drawing talent and tourists from across Africa and around the world.

Each year a multi-generational global community of up to 20,000 “bring their fire” to the scenic Malkerns Valley to experience an eclectic Pan-African and international line-up of live music, theatre, poetry, film, circus, dance and visual arts. A vibrant handcraft market, family-friendly performances & KidZone as well as the recently introduced interactive art and dialogue space, The Barn, combine to create a magically eclectic 3 day entertainment experience.

Founded in 2006, MTN BUSHFIRE has garnered a well-deserved reputation for its visionary approach, integrity and “Call to Action” mandate which defines its commitment to nurturing the Swazi arts and cultural scene whilst raising awareness and funds to tackle the nation’s most pressing social needs. In response to increasing orphan numbers, currently estimated to be 12% of the population (120,000 children), MTN BUSHFIRE donates 100% of its profits to Aids orphans through Swazi NGO Young Heroes ( and 100% of merchandise profits to Gone Rural BoMake (, a non-profit organization that aids rural Swazi women and their communities with information & infrastructure development addressing health, education and social concerns.

Festival Dates May 31 - June 2, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Story:

Swaziland’s annual Bushfire International Festival of the Arts is a multi-dimensional event which seeks to utilize a vibrant platform to celebrate diversity and encourage positive change in our society. Featuring three days of International and Pan-African performers from various disciplines, this event is becoming one of the finest Arts Festivals on the African Continent.

The Bushfire Festival is hosted in the truly inspired ‘House on Fire’ - Internationally acclaimed as one of the most eclectic venues in the world. This combination of an inspired arena and an amazing lineup of world class talent sets the tone for a magical gathering! Featuring a multi-stage concept, state-of-the-art sound & lighting and one of Southern Africa’s most outstanding creative events teams, this Festival is a continuously developing artwork unto itself.

Bushfire’s mandate, the “Call to Action”, creates an opportunity not only for the growth and development of the arts but also highlights and raises funds for some of the more critical social needs that face Swaziland focusing on HIV/AIDS, women’s rights and environmental issues. The natural beauty, exceptionally friendly people and the gorgeous rural setting of the Festival all spin together to create a fabulously embracing atmosphere.


Festival Events:

Lineup 2013:
  • Alhousseini Mohamed Anivolla (Niger) and Guy Buttery (South Africa)
  • Alhousseini Mohamed Anivolla
  • Guy Buttery
  • Big Fkn Gun (South Africa)
  • Black Motion (South Africa)
  • Bomba Estereo (Colombia)
  • DJ Mighty (South Africa)
  • Catch the Rain (South Africa)
  • Erik Aliana & Koronga Jam (Cameroon)
  • Euphonik (South Africa)
  • Gcina Mhlophe (South Africa)
  • Jazz P & The Next Generation Band (Mozambique / Swaziland)
  • Jeremy Loops (South Africa)
  • Joy Frempong – Oy (Ghana / Switzerland)
  • Masikane (Swaziland)
  • Mix n Blend (South Africa)
  • Nakhane Toure (South Africa)
  • Nathalie Natiembé (Reunion Islands)
  • Pedro The Music Man (South Africa)
  • Rooted Soulz Poetry (Swaziland)
  • Shangaan Electro (South Africa)
  • The Brother Moves On (South Africa)
  • The Soil (South Africa)
  • Tonik (South Africa)
  • Toya Delazy (South Africa)
  • Toti (Swaziland)
  • The festival growth and development strategy includes cultivating additional festival strands which will enable a legacy of sustainable skill sharing and growth of the arts industry within Swaziland and the region. Strands include:
    • Bushfire School’s Festival: Exposing students and teachers to the language of the arts
    • 100%Seriously Swazi: A development programme aiming to introduce upcoming Swazi groups to the International stage
    • The Art’s Round Table: Professional development workshops for the arts industry
    • The Barn: Open forum for discussion of current social concerns
    • The Marketplace: A marketplace for Swazi handcrafters and artisans practicing fairtrade principals
    • Firefest Route: A partnership between MTN BUSHFIRE and Mozambique’s AZGO Music Festival that promotes cultural exchange and arts development.
  • It is this distinctive fusion of inspired multi-dimensional creativity, demographically diverse audience, socially-accountable philosophy, and magical setting that creates and sustains BUSHFIRE’s harmonious energy and sets it apart from all other festivals.


Other Sources:

Want more? Click on a color — travel and explore.  

  • Bushfire Festival 2012;
  • Bushfire Schools Festival video for 2012
  • Bushfire Festival 2011;=youtube_gdata_player


Practical Info:

  • House on Fire Amphitheatre
    Malandela’s Farm
Artist applications:
Mailing list:
  • To subscribe to the Bushfire mailing list for latest news on tickets, programme, travel and accommodation please email


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