Africa’s most diverse music and arts festival, MTN Bushfire is just around the corner. From 29 to 31 May, it will offer an incredible array of music, as well as cultural and artistic programmes, in the picturesque Malkerns Valley in Swaziland.
Organisers have already announced an incredible star studded line up of international artists including Les Nubians (France), Sweet Honey in the Rock (USA) and top talent from Swaziland and the rest of southern Africa. Now, with just two weeks to go, the organisers have given festival-goers a bonus by adding even more acts to the bill.
Chief among those is South African rapper Cassper Nyovest, still riding high on the success of his massive debut album Tsholofelo, which recently earned him a South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Newcomer. Another act just added to the line-up is the Stelth Ulvang Trio (UK, South Africa). A fulltime globe traveler, currently touring with The Lumineers, Stelth is a talented multi-instrumentalist, spirited poet and composer of vulnerable, honest, and rich music. Music fans can also look forward to local Swazi talent in the form of Continental Drift, OutCry and Ghetto Villa (Swaziland) - best known for his hit single titled “Ng’phum’ekasi”, and (Swaziland). South African performance art collective B.D.I. have also been added. Another new feature at this year’s festival is The Red Bull Stage and bar, creating an entirely new festival area featuring a full programme of DJs, including Culoe De Song.
These artists join the previously announced line-up of Sweet Honey in the Rock (USA), Les Nubians (France), 123 (Turkey), Amandla Freedom Ensemble (SA), Banda Kakana (Mozambique), Bashayi Bengoma Ensemble (Swaziland), BCUC (SA), Black Jesus Experience (Australia), Bongeziwe Mabandla (SA), Culoe de Song (SA), Freshlyground (SA), Haja Madagascar & the Groovy People (Madagascar/Congo/Mozambique/Swaziland), Jaojoby (Madagascar), Joana Serrat (Spain), Nomsa M (Swaziland), The Parlotones (SA), Poni Hoax (France), Ras Reggie & Ras Ritchie Project (Swaziland), Safeguard Young People Project (SA), Shortstraw (SA), Sweet Sweet Moon (Austria), Tlale Makhene (Swaziland), Tonik and Friends (South Africa/Swaziland), Transito (Mozambique/USA/France), True Vibenation (Zim/Australia), The Soil (SA), Swazi DJs, DJ Danger Ingozi (SA), DJ InviZable & the Champions of the Sonarverse (SA) and DJ Okapi (SA).
In addition to musical variety, MTN Bushfire is also proud to present a diverse and eclectic alternative line-up of arts and performance including The Barn, an interactive art, dialogue and performance space devoted to innovation and creativity. The newly announced 2015 programme includes an exhibition in collaboration with the Yebo! Contemporary Art Gallery and Breakfast with TONIK. Other new festival developments for 2015 include the addition of the Sibebe bar and extended menu adjoining the Open Mic Stage, various installations (including a Tree-Planting Project), the family friendly KIDZONE, as well as the Handcraft and Design Marketplace and Global Food Village.
Two moderated panel discussions - hosted in collaboration with the Mbabane Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum as part of their ‘Khuluma’ series (meaning ‘talk’) - will attempt to interrogate development and growth in the context of a globalising Swaziland. The first discussion is titled “An engaged look at the future of the country using the arts as a means to explore.” This debate will explore the local arts industry; how to foster growth and exploration, how to guarantee a consistent and thriving creative industry and how to formalize the industry locally without compromising the quality of production and the freedom of expression that all artists are entitled to. The second discussion is titled “Integrating environmental sustainability perspectives, social policy and poverty eradication in a globalising Swaziland.” It will focus on one of Swaziland’s most attractive resources, its natural environment, and how development in the country needs to take the environment into account.
Make sure you are one of the 20 000 music and arts fans who “bring their fire” to the scenic farmlands of the Malkerns Valley to experience this unique event. Tickets for MTN Bushfire 2015 are available via the website.