MTN Bushfire 2022 wrapped up its successful 15th edition on Sunday May 29th with thousands of fans who brought their fire for the first time since 2019 in a safe, peaceful and inspiring environment that celebrated the passionate commitment to music, the arts, and the environment.
Over 11 000 guests from all over the world gathered together over three days within the newly upgraded MTN Bushfire spaces and campsites. The festival was once again completely sold out based on the reduced capacity required for COVID-19 safety protocols. With 3 stages and over 70 acts, MTN Bushfire 2022 was a resounding success.
More than a music festival, MTN Bushfire also runs a number of important cultural development initiatives. Prior to the festival kicking off the public, the annual Schools Festival took place with young people from the local community taking part in a two-day arts education project. To date, the Schools Festival has included over 600 students, enabling an appreciation and understanding of the importance of the arts.
This year’s Arts Round Table, a partnership with the Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC), a new, female led, executive-focused music industry conference, hosted speakers from the region and from around the world, all with expertise across various pillars of the music business ecosystem. Speakers from the Southern African region, The Netherlands, Germany, Rwanda & Americas took part in this powerful session aimed at further developing the local Eswatini music industry.
As an African rooted yet global festival, this year’s line-up featured a strong African focus and yet also welcomed artists from across the globe. With acts from afar afield as Nigeria (Seun Kuti & The Egypt 80), Eritrea and the Netherlands (Rimon), the DRC (Tresor), Reunion Island (Aurus), Mozambique (Moticoma), Botswana (Mpho Sebina), Lesotho (Leomile), Ghana & Netherlands, (BnnyHunna), Germany (Jamie and Blindsmyth), and Austria (Gavriela).
Hosts Eswatini also showed off its exceptional talent with local artists Sands, Bhaloja, Nana, Khole, Manana, and The Reggae All Stars performing across the stages. Neighboring South Africa was also well represented with talent such as Nasty C, Don Laka, DJ Ready D, Msaki, The Ndolvu Youth Choir, The One Who Sings, Sun El-Musican, Blk Jks, and Hot Water amongst others.
The MTN Bushfire All-Star stand-up comedy show hosted by South African comedy legends Rob van Vuuren and KG Mokgadi and with Zimbabwe’s iconic Q Dube and Eswatini’s very own Mdura was a morning crowd favourite along with the family-friendly Silent Conductor who brought hundreds of people together in an interactive and inspiring musical collaboration.
The Ballentine’s Firefly stage at MTN Bushfire 2022 pulsed through the night with some of the hottest DJs from across the region such as !Sooks, Ayacuty, Speech Umlangeni, Trend Twins, The Bishops, Lady Cream, Ohpis, Jzntngs and DJ Wizard, (Eswatini), DBN Gogo, Culoe de Song, (South Africa), Coco Em (Kenya), and DJ Musketeer, DJ Alu (Namibia), amongst others.
The safe and peaceful gathering of thousands of people at MTN Bushfire 2022 has been an exciting milestone in the re-igniting of Africa’s music and cultural landscape, and the team is already excited to work towards welcoming everyone once again, from 26 – 28 May 2023 for the 16th edition of the MTN Bushfire Festival.