Now in its 11th year, the festival has become one of Africa’s most respected and anticipated music events. Festival organisers announced ahead of the 2017 event that the festival had received more than 1 500 applications from artists seeking to perform to an audience estimated at about 25 000.
The second announcement includes South Africans Hugh Masekela and Matthew Mole as well as Zimbabwean superstar Jay Prayzah and Ghana's Jojo Abot. The recently announced artists join Congolese musician Baloji, Tuareg guitarist Bombino and Belgian-South African newcomer Petite Noir.
Judging by the line-up announced so far, Bushfire 2017 appears to seek to bridge the gap between old and young fans, with trumpeter Masekela representing the former and Jay Prayzah catering for the latter.
“MTN Bushfire is a celebration of the human spirit and the joy of creative expression that seeks to encourage everyone to contribute and engage,” festival director Jiggs Thorne said. “In doing this we ask questions of ourselves, of artists and of our audiences on how best to shape the festival we have created: how do we become practical dreamers and how do we continue to bring our fire? Exploring these questions defines our festival and is the real spirit that people take home with them.”
Bushfire is also involved in social change. The organisers said the festival had encouraged more than 100 000 people to “generate an estimated R200m ($15m) for the broader Swazi economy”.