It’s almost time, that time of year where over 20,000 firestarters from across the world converge on the Malkerns Valley of Eswatini for a weekend of music, arts, activism, tolerance and celebration. MTN Bushfire 2023 will kick off early this year, with the campsite open for campers from Thursday May 25th and the festival doors officially opening on Friday May 26th and running through the weekend.
Please note that ONLINE tickets are now SOLD OUT and NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AT THE DOOR. Camping tickets are still available for those who already have a festival ticket.
For those with valid tickets, be sure to get the MTN Bushfire Festival App to plan your weekend experience; just download the Woov festival app platform from Google Play or App Store and follow MTN Bushfire. Please protect your ticket barcode from being copied and be careful of 3rd party ticket sellers as MTN Bushfire cannot be held responsible for fraudulent tickets.
Remember, camping opens on Thursday May 25th and we strongly advise you to arrive early to avoid delays at the border and to take note of the travel tips: https://www.bush-fire.com/plan-your-mtn-bushfire-2023-experience-now/!
The 2023 edition will once again provide a range of musical, artistic and performance based experiences, alongside meaningful conversations, installations, and activations, all created within the unique MTN Bushfire spirit of tolerance, inclusion, and sustainability.
Once again, the MTN Bushfire Main Stage will play host to some of Africa’s best known and loved artists, as well as presenting a few surprises aimed to excite, inspire, and get the entire crowd on their feet. MTN Bushfire 2023 will once again present a diversity of styles and sounds with artists such as Mokoomba (ZW), whose unique sound blends genres as diverse as Sungura, Reggae, Dancehall, Urban and Afro Jazz with traditional rhythms and contemporary Zimrock; one of South Africa’s brightest and boldest stars, Sho Madjozi is an accomplished, multi award-winning artist with audacious energy and a colourful aesthetic making for a powerful stage presence; and Jack Parow, rapper, poet and a South African Pop Culture Icon, and self-proclaimed “Undisputed King of Afrikaans Rap.
Other Main Stage artists include South Africa’s Desmond and the Tutus, Ami Faku, the award-winning musician, performer and songwriter, and one of the most important voices to come out of South Africa in the last few years ,and the legendary Black Motion known for blending House music with lively indigenous percussion and multilingual vocals.
Be sure not to miss Angolan singer Pongo whose hybrid sounds mix Kuduro, Melancholic Pop, Dancehall and EDM with lyrics both in Portuguese and Kimbundu; iYA, a singer-songwriter, vocal arranger and vocal coach from Eswatini, Lagos-based The Cavemen whose ‘Highlife Fusion’ combines Highlife, Afrobeat, Jazz, and Soul music; and Ibeyi, a French musical duo consisting of Afro-Cuban-French twin sisters who sing in English, French, Spanish and Yoruba.
The House on Fire Ampitheatre is an awe-inspiring performance area with a distinctly unique flavour at its core. A sunken ‘Afro-Shakespearean Globe Theatre’ that houses a range of thought-provoking entertainment, including music, poetry, theatre and dance, it provides a more intimate setting for artists and audience. Discover hidden gems with eclectic and engaging artists from around the world including: Rumbo Tumba is a one-man orchestra, playing, recording and mixing an array of exclusively artisanal wooden instruments native to South America; Aka Kelzz, a Berlin-based singer-songwriter; Scúru Fitchádu who represents a direct reference to both Cape Verdean music and African matrix, within punk aesthetics and disruptive electronics; and Javier Díez Ena, a double bass player, thereminist and electronic musician, who plays the Theremin or Etherphone, the oldest surviving electronic instrument in the world, which is played through electric signals without physical contact.
The HOF will also play host to comedy with internationally renowned stand-up comedian Daliso Chaponda who shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent, making it to the final of the 2017 series and establishing himself as a firm favourite with the judges and the public. Imbilini…my friend!, a brand new South African play, written and performed by Bulelani Mabutyana, along with Siphenathi Mayekiso, directed by the award-winning Mdu Kweyama will also be performed on the HOF Stage.
The Ballantine’s Firefly Stage will see some of Africa’s coolest DJs performing throughout the weekend in an explosive, engaging and high-energy space to dance the weekend away. A melting pot of diverse talent, both local and international, showcase their skills and bring you the very best that Electronic, House and Amapiano have to offer.
Sets will include; DJ V, a dynamic and versatile Hip-Hop DJ and the ’queen of bangers’ who unleashes a relentless stream of “bangers” that will set the dance floor ablaze with her electrifying presence and impeccable mixing skills; Kreative Nativez, a duo of Producer/ DJ from Lusaka in Zambia; Abby Nurock (ZA), one of the few female vinyl DJs. South African DJ and Producer Kabza De Small as well as DJ, record producer, singer and dancer Mörda, best known for being a former member of the musical band Black Motion are also featured in this year’s line-up.
Eswatini’s own Speech Umlangeni is a house music DJ and producer specializing in Afro-House, Tribal, Techno and Old School House music. Other local DJs taking the stage will include Slotta who offers a musical escape to a place of harmonic solace, DJ Mseto, an Eswatini born house music DJ, Producer, graphics designer, compiler & house music activist, DJ Fantacy , conscious rap musician Bluu Jay, 𝗬ung 𝗧empo, rapper, songwriter, mixing engineer and record producer, and Trend Twins, a female Afro House DJ duo to name a few.
International DJs from around the globe are also in the line-up, including Megatronic, a culture producer, DJ and music enthusiast from the UK, Finland’s Venior who mixes Wild, Experimental Beats with Heavy Bass Sounds, Powerful Vocals; and from the Caribbean Gwada Mike, whose sets often bring a mix of Caribbean sounds blended with urban tracks.
Other event highlights include a diverse range of activations and performances including comedy, panel conversations, live muralists and more. Those campers at the All Out Camp Site can also take part in the All Out Campsite Gym, where fitness gurus will be running a series of free classes from 6am -10 am on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May in the mornings.
Don’t forget MTN Bushfire is also family friendly and the KidZone in 2023 is the space where young Fire Starters can run free in this secure adventurous space filled with stimulating and fun-filled activities ranging from storytelling, sculpting and music workshops to high-energy lawn games. Each year, the festival works with a special theme for the KidZone that inspires creativity, engagement and skills development for young people of all ages, overseen by experienced, vetted child-care workers.
There are also daily performances and activations in the UN Eswatini supported Bring Your Fire Zone, where MTN Bushfire’s resounding call to action of #BringYourFire is brought to life. Make sure to also visit the Global Food Village and the Marketplace where you will discover the memorably creative, sustainably-sourced, quality products and services on offer. This space is designed for the ethical consumer, with each company or artisan contributing in a positive way to the environment and their communities.
The full festival line-up and all other information can be found on the website, www.bush-fire.com