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MTN Bushfire 2017: Africa's Global Festival

Posted on: Friday, March 17, 2017
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MTN Bushfire, named Africa’s Top Festival by the BBC and known as one of the most inclusive and diverse festivals in the world, is entering its 2nd decade with its commitment to the arts, the environment, and social change even stronger than ever.

Every year around 25,000 music fans from across the globe gather in the scenic Malkerns Valleys of Swaziland to experience the internationally acclaimed event. More than simply a music festival,  MTN Bushfire is a holistic experience made up of a rich texture of arts, cultures, crafts, food markets and specialised zones that combine to create an explosive three day event and a memorable take home experience.  

Celebrated for its uniquely African yet global offering, the MTN Bushfire Festival line-up will once again incude some of Africa’s top artists as well as a host of artists from across the world. For the upcoming 11th edition in 2017, taking place from May 26th – 28th,  MTN Bushfire has received  over 1,500 artist applications from 45 countries and the diverse and exciting line-up will be announced early in 2017.

In addition to its diverse and exciting musical line-up however, the festival has also always been acknowledged as a holistic and family–friendly experience,  that one journalist described as a “living breathing  creative ecosystem.” From the KIDZONE, an adventurous space for young fire starters to ignite their budding flames, the Handcraft & Design Marketplace, an experiential space where creative curiosity is inspired and revived, to the Global Food Village that presents a tantalizing diversity of tastes from around the world, MTN Bushfire is a cultural immersion like no other.

The festival’s inspired call to action #BRINGYOURFIRE, is a personal and collective commitment to social change that has been supported by MTN Bushfire through a number of incredible initiatives over the years, and continues to drive the festival in 2017. Over the past ten years, more than 100,000 people from over 120 countries have helped generate an estimated R200 million for the broader Swazi economy. Looking to further encourage participation through various activities within the festival, MTN Bushfire will introduce the brand new “Bring Your Fire” Zone, an interactive space devoted to activities where all guests can share their own #BRINGYOURFIRE experiences.

Beyond providing jobs to over 1000 people from within its local community, MTN Bushfire plays a key role in facilitating artistic conversation, cultural promotion, and social messaging through projects including the Arts Round Table that has impacted over 1,000 local arts professionals. The Schools Festivals have also facilitated arts learning for over 6,000 students and teachers since 2012 in response to the lack of a formal arts education programme in the country.

Additionally, MTN Bushfire supports two prolific Swazi organisations with over a million Emalangeni donated to these two beneficiaries., Young Heroes, a charity that supports young AIDS orphans, and BoMalke Rural Projects.

Bushfire Festival Director Jiggs Thorne, describes the festival this way, “MTN Bushfire is a celebration of the human spirit and the joy of creative expression that seeks to encourage everyone to contribute and engage. 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!”

To take part in MTN Bushfire is to become part of a global community with firmly African roots. We invite you to #BRINGYOURFIRE to MTN Bushfire 2017 that will take place from 26th – 28th May 2017. You can book tickets here.

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