Africa’s most diverse music and arts festival, MTN BUSHFIRE, taking place from May 29 – 31st 2015, offers a an incredibly wide array of music as well as cultural and artistic programmes. 


The MTN Bushfire main stage will host an incredible star studded line up of international artists including Les Nubians, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Freshlyground and The Parlotones, to name just a few. 


In addition to musical variety, MTN Bushfire is also proud to present a diverse and eclectic alterniave 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 features an exhibition in collaboration with Yebo! Contemporary Art Gallery, Breakfast with TONIK and two guest discussions working towards the 2014 theme ‘Just Before the Future’. 


Other new festival developments for 2015 include the addition of the Sibebe bar and extended menu adjoining the Open Mic Stage, various installations, and of course, the family friendly KIDZONE, as well as the Handcraft and Design Marketplace and Global Food Village.


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 DJ’s including Culoe De Song.  


MTN BUSHFIRE is also excited to announce the latest additions to the main stage line-up:


Stelth Ulvang Trio (UK, South Africa) Full­time globe traveler, currently touring with The Lumineers, Stelth is a talented multi-instrumentalist, spirited poet and composer of vulnerable, honest, and rich music.


Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) One of South Africa’s hottest rappers, Cassper just won a SAMA (South African Music Award) for Best Newcomer.


Continental Drift (Swaziland) Continental Drift is a Swazi owned, artist initiative with the objective of developing music potential and artistic resources in Swaziland. 


Ghetto Villa (Swaziland) Ghetto Villa is popularly known for his hit single titled “Ng’phum’ekasi” which has been on rotation at local radio stations.


B.D.I. (South Africa) The B.D.I is a larger than life performance art collective. 


OutCry (Swaziland) OutCry, one of Swaziland’s great success stories. Playing everything from rock to rap, OutCry brings their unique level of high energy to MTN BUSHFIRE. 




The following elements are part of the full MTN BUSHFIRE 2015 festival programme:






Through The Barn, MTN BUSHFIRE facilitates creativity, expression and conversation, while encouraging participants to be inspired thinkers, doers, artists and visionaries. As part of the MTN Bushfire festival mandate, The Barn aims to ignite a collective response for positive change. 


All Barn activities fall within the theme for 2015, “just before the future,” which looks at the future of a modernizing and globalizing Swaziland from two main standpoints: environment and development, and the arts and development.



Live Programme


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. 


Discussion 1

“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.


Discussion 2

“Integrating environmental sustainability perspectives, social policy and poverty eradication in a globalising Swaziland.”


One of Swaziland’s particular blessings is the environment. We are possessed of vast tracts of untouched land, a wide range of habitats and endemic species. Development needs to happen consciously and sustainably; hand in hand with the environment.


Tonik Ensemble:

South African Music Award winning duo TONIK is back in The Barn this year with their innovative set up; hour long performances for 80 people. Unlike most musical performances, TONIK gigs are presented through hi-definition headphones allowing the audience a privacy and personal connection to the music, whilst remaining in a crowd. 


This year TONIK will be collaborating with local musicians Smiles Makama and Ralph Smit, creating a sound that spans the continents. Expect to hear kalimba, tabla, didgeridoo, roads piano, makhoyane, flute, trumpet and of course, the mythical smilerphone, in a truly innovative collaboration. 





Yebo Contemporary Art Gallery was set up in February 2011 by Pete, Aleta and Dane Armstrong. It is an independent gallery whose role is to promote and market the exciting fine art created by emerging and established professional local artists. 


The second collaboration between MTN Bushfire and Yebo Art Gallery brings 30 local and international visual artists together to explore the theme of “just before the future.”


The exhibition will feature the winning photos from the European Union’s photographic competition (based on the same theme). The exhibition is curated by Yebo Contemporary Art Gallery and contributed to by the EU.





The Pavilion


The Barn is also a precinct, a space broader than just the Barn itself. Outside The Barn, The Pavillion, an interactive installation space built in collaboration with Guba and Yebo Artreach, will focus on the environmental future. 


The space is a circular pavilion modeled on water sources in the Highveld.  The audience will be positioned within the pavilion, surrounded by indigenous trees and sheltered from the rest of the festival.


Tree-Planting Project


In alignment with MTN BUSHFIRE’s move to go green, the Malandela’s Legacy Fund, and in partnership with the All Out Foundation, a pilot tree-planting project will take place at MTN BUSHFIRE 2015. 


With the focus of this planting resting solely on indigenous species, rather than exotics, the All Out Foundation will collaborate with MTN BUSHFIRE to reforest the festival neighbourhood with indeigenous trees. 


Festival goers will be able to learn about a selection of local Swazi trees and will have the opportunity to visit the surrounds and plant a tree/trees during the festival.




Hosted by Skuf’tin Kitchen and designed by Jerempaul Design, the Café at The Barn sources local and organic produce wherever possible. Set beneath the big tree at The Barn, the Café is a shaded space where hungry and thirsty alike can get a bite to eat and take a break from the festival crowds.







Tickets for MTN BUSHFIRE 2015 are available via the website, www.bush-fire.com. 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.  


For more information and to purchase tickets: www.bush-fire.com 

Also visit: www.facebook.com/MTNBushfire 

twitter: @BushfireFest 






123 (Turkey)

Since their formation in 2004, the Turkish indie pop band 123 has been dazzling audiences with their intriguing stories and dreamy melodies. 123 are supported by the Turkish Embassy of Mozambique. 


Amandla Freedom Ensemble (South Africa)

An urban arts music collective of young jazz musicians dedicated to the advancement and preservation of the South African music legacy. 


Banda Kakana (Mozambique)

Banda Kakana is a leading representative of a new generation of Mozambican bands, following in the celebrated footsteps of groups like Ghorwane, Eyuphuro and Orquestra Marrabenta Star of Mozambique. 


Bashayi Bengoma  Ensemble (Swaziland)

An ensemble of traditional Swazi music, performed by artists from across Swaziland will gather to perform old and news songs, with lyrics poetically speaking about life, love and beauty. 


BDI (South Africa) 

The B.D.I is a larger than life performance art collective operational since 1995. Their work has been chalked on pavements and shown in galleries, with many street shows that have astounded, bemused and even caught fire. Expect the unexpected.


BCUC (South Africa)

Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (BCUC) consists of seven musicians from Soweto, South Africa. BCUC moves the audience both physically and emotionally with a sound derived straight from our ancestral lineage and demystifies the general worldviews about modern Africa.


Black Jesus Experience (Australia) 

Black Jesus Experience blend traditional Ethiopian music  along with modern hip-hop and funk grooves.  Their rhymes & chimes deliver the musical strength and beauty of Africa through the vocal prism of hip-hop and the freedom of jazz. 


Bongeziwe Mabandla (South Africa) 

Two-time SAMA nominee, Bongeziwe Mabandla has been making waves at home and overseas with his blend of urban-African folk. He has performed at festivals in Germany and Spain, as well as opening for the likes of Joss Stone during her South African tour. 


Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) 

One of South Africa’s hottest rappers just won a SAMA (South African Music Award) for Best Newcomer. His huge hit – “Doc Shebeleza” has taken South African radio by storm. 


Continental Drift (Swaziland) 

Continental Drift is a Swazi Owned, artist initiative with the objective of developing music potential and artistic resources in Swaziland. Members can be permanent or associate, thus embracing Swaziland’s social and dynamic of permanent residents and decades of renascent associates from overseas who have knowledge and experience to share. 


Culoe de Song (South Africa)

Top South African DJ and producer, Culoe de Song brings his energetic deep house set to the main stage of MTN BUSHFIRE 2015. 


Swazi DJ’s  

Once again MTN Bushfire brings together the finest selection of Swazi DJ’s. MTN Bushfire presents: DJ Zoe, DJ Cream, DJ Mseto, DJ Mkay, DJ Peace and DJ Mixmash. 


DJ Danger Ingozi (South Africa) 

The ever-progressive DJ Danger Ingozi has been flexing his electro active polymers with a high voltage selection of forward thinking dance music, often infused with African, Baile, Balkan, Reggae, Tropicana and other World Beats.


DJ InviZable & the Champions of the Sonarverse (South Africa)

A master of staging creative Guerrilla performances, DJ INVIZABLE, brings together the champions of the sonarverse for a mind-blowing experience. 


DJ Okapi (South Africa)

DJ Okapi digs up South African “bubblegum/disco” gems from the late 80’s and early 90s. 


Freshlyground (South Africa)

One of South Africa’s most treasured acts, at MTN BUSHFIRE They will perform old favourites as well as some brand new material. Fronted by the diminutive but dynamic Zolani Mahola, the band exudes a live performance energy that has been the bedrock of their success. Although hailing from diverse backgrounds, the band’s members weave a musical magic that is highly infectious and undeniably groovy.


Ghetto Villa (Swaziland)  

Ghetto Villa is popularly known for his hit single titled “Ng’phum’ekasi” which has been on rotation at local radio stations. It even topped the MTN/SBIS Top 20 Charts. He is a superb lyricist and is getting a reputation as a “Rapper’s Rapper.”


Haja Madagascar & the Groovy People (Madagascar/Congo/Mozambique/Swaziland)

Charismatic guitarist, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Haja Madagascar collaborates with some of Africa’s finest musicians including; celebrated Congolese bass player Michel Lumana, drummer Stelio Mondlane from Mozambique and vocalists Spirits Indigenous from Swaziland. 

This one off musical project of collaborating artists, are brought together by African Synergy and will be touring the 2015 Firefest route. 


Jaojoby (Madagascar)

Jaojoby is commonly recognised as the most popular singer in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands and is widely referred to as the "King of Salegy". His success has earned him such honors as Artist of the Year in Madagascar for two consecutive years (1998–1999) and the role of Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund in 1999.  

Jaojoby Firefest route tour is support by the Alliance Francaise. 


Joana Serrat (Spain)

Inspired by American roots musicians including Roy Orbison, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, singer-songwriter Joana Serrat, from Barcelona, Spain, joins us this year to showcase her original blend of folk music. 

Joana Serret is supported by the Spanish Embassy of Mozambique. 


Les Nubians (France)

Les Nubians are one of the most successful French speaking bands, best known for their Billboard R&B Single “Makeda” from their Grammy-nominated album Princesses Nubiennes.

Les Nubians’ newest album, NU REVOLUTION, perfectly sums up their Pan-African approach and ethos. 


Nomsa M (Swaziland)

Nomsa M, has established herself a leading female Swazi vocalist. She’s best known for her traditional African jazz -pop sound, delivered on stage with strength, passion and charisma. 


OutCry (Swaziland) 

OutCry is one of Swaziland’s great success stories. Playing everything from rock to rap, OutCry brings their unique level of high energy to the stage.


The Parlotones (South Africa)

The Parlotones are one of the biggest rock bands to come out of South Africa. Having recently returned from a stint in the US, The Parlotones share their latest material at MTN BUSHFIRE 2015.


Poni Hoax (France)

French electro-rock band Poni Hoax, uniquely feature two keyboard players who are complimented by a traditional pop rhythm section. They are expected to deliver a distinctly retro inspired set at MTN BUSHFIRE 2015. 

Poni Hoax are proudly supported by IFAS.


Ras Reggie & Ras Ritchie Project (Swaziland)

Ras Reggie, co-founder of the veteran Swazi Reggae group Imphandze and Black Roses, teams up with Ras Ritchie in an all-star Swazi line-up. Expect sweet reggae tunes!


Safeguard Young People Project (South Africa)

Imagine what it would be like if all adolescents and young people in South Africa were healthy, productive and empowered.  The UNFPA aims to contribute to this vision by uniting seven of the regions young, influential artists to communicate themes of social behaviour change. 

Artists include KRTC (Swaziland) Zeus (Botswana) DJ Kaliwa (Zambia) The Dogg (Namibia) Bryan K (Zimbabwe) Stlofa (Lesotho) and Gwamba (Malawi). 


Shortstraw (South Africa)

Having taken South Africa by storm with a series of radio hits, Johannesburg based indie-pop band, Shortstraw’s infectious summertime music is sure to deliver ideal festival vibes. 


Stelth Ulvang Trio (UK, South Africa)   

Full­time globe traveler, currently touring with The Lumineers, Stelth is a talented multi-instrumentalist, spirited poet and composer of vulnerable, honest, and rich music. His unique ability to transform living rooms, basements, backyards, kitchens, and even large venues into an intimate moment of storytelling, makes his carnival style performance and confessional lyrics so appealing.


Sweet Honey in the Rock (USA) 

Sweet Honey in the Rock is a performance ensemble rooted in African American history and culture. The ensemble educates, entertains and empowers its audience through dynamic vocal arrangements, a cappella  and American sign language interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing.


Sweet Sweet Moon (Austria)

Sweet Sweet Moon, features multi-instrumentalist Matthias Frey. His traditional singer songwriter approach has evolved, integrating a diverse musical skillset. On stage, expect bold orchestral style arrangements led by his violin and loop pedal. 

Sweet Sweet Moon is supported by the Austrian Embassy of South Africa.


Tlale Makhene (Swaziland)

Swazi groove master Tlale Makhene is recognised as Swaziland’s leading percussionist/composer. His prolific career has included producing and performing on over 300 jazz and world music album collaborations. 

Tlale Makhene will be joined on stage with acclaimed musicians Helder Gonzaga   (Mozambique) Erik Paliani (Malawi) Bernice Boikanyo (SA) and Thando Matsebula (SA). This regional music collaboration is sponsored by ProHelvitica..


Tonik and Friends (South Africa/Swaziland)

Tonik present silent performances - introducing headphones for individual members of the audience with personal volume control, a concert by Tonik s a revolutionary and immersive experience. 

This year Tonik are set to perfume with Swazi musicians Smiles Makhama and Ralph Smit. 


Transito (Mozambique/USA/France)

Projecto Transito is an acoustic journey of discovery between musicians of varied musical and cultural origins using traditional instruments from around the world.


True Vibenation (Zim/Australia)

Made up of African/Australian twins, this Australian band has developed a solid reputation for their electric live shows. True Vibenation bring a fresh approach to hip-hop, blending elements of afro-beat, jazz, dubstep, soul and Latin music to create a global sound. 


The Soil (South Africa)

Platinum selling acapella trio, The Soil, are back by popular demand to the MTN BuUSHFIRE main stage. The group are best known for performing in a melodic township style, which they call Kasi Soul. 

Founding Graphic Design Partner - Vincent Caudry.
Official Photographers - Bram Lanmers and Sydelle Willow-Smith
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