It’s almost that time of year where over 20,000 firestarters from across the world will gather in the beautiful Malkerns Valley of Eswatini for a weekend celebration of music, arts, creative activism, tolerance and inclusion.

The 2024 edition will once again provide a wide and diverse range of musical, artistic and performance-based experiences, alongside meaningful conversations, installations, and activations, across multiple stages and activation zones.

The campsite will be open for campers from 11am on Thursday. The festival grounds will be open to early campers from 4pm-10pm on Thursday 30 May, so they may visit the trading stalls. Early campers may also want to attend the Vutsa Umlilo opening ceremony, with live performance showcases from local artists, starting at 6.30pm. The festival gates officially open for general admissions at 4pm on Friday 31 May. Festivalgoers are encouraged to arrive on Thursday, 30 May, to avoid border congestion.

This year, eight exciting stages will compete for your attention! The beloved Main Stage, high-energy Ballantine’s Firefly Stage and intimate House on Fire Amphitheatre Stage will once again present the eclectic range of artists that typify the MTN Bushfire Festival. The acoustic Bring Your Fire Stage is the place to relax or get involved while the KidZone Stage offers themed activities and entertainment. Don’t forget to check out the Heineken, Jägermeister and Corona Stages, with their own line-ups.

This year, the MTN Bushfire Main Stage will be headlined by the legendary founders of the Malian Blues, Amadou & Mariam. They have collaborated with some of the world’s greatest names and toured the world’s largest festivals over the course of a career spanning almost 50 years, spreading their joie de vivre and establishing themselves as the ultimate ambassadors of Afropop. The Main Stage features a host of renowned musicians, including one of South Africa’s most beloved stars, Thandiswa Mazwai, who will once again set the MTN Bushfire stage ablaze with her uplifting sociopolitical messaging and inspiring fusion of traditional Xhosa rhythms, Mbaqanga, Funk, Jazz and Reggae. Other Main Stage artists include the pioneer/voice of ‘Swazi Soul’, Eswatini’s Bholoja and, from South Africa, Jeremy Loops, Makhadzi as well as the Grammy-nominated enigmatic ‘spirit of African Soul’, Musa Keys, among many fine acts.

The House On Fire Amphitheatre Stage is the heart of the festival. Known as an intimate space of discovery, festivalgoers will explore a range of performances and new sounds with this year’s dynamic line-up which includes drumming, theatre performances, comedy and a diversity of musical performances. Discover hidden gems with eclectic and engaging artists from around the world, including Camilla George, a visionary saxophonist, composer, bandleader and innovator from the UK with a unique, hypnotising blend of Afrofuturism, Hip Hop and Jazz. Her music is informed by a powerful connection to her Nigerian identity, lineage and heritage; Sarnilo, who smoothly incorporates both Siswati and Chichewa in a fusion of Afro-Soul and Hip Hop; folk innovators Féten Féten from Spain; as well as Guy Buttery & Nibs van der Spuy, to name a few.

The Ballantine’s Firefly Stage is the festival’s high-energy space and will see some of Africa’s revered DJs performing throughout the weekend. DJs will include Da Capo, who is hailed as one of South Africa’s finest House music DJs and producers, Daliwonga, who will be serving up his signature Amapiano anthems with soulful vocals and infectious melodies; and Vigro Deep, a rising Amapiano DJ and producer who will be firing up the stage with his distinctive flair, mixing EDM, Dubstep and other genres.

Eswatini’s own Speech Umlangeni is a House music DJ and producer specializing in Afro-House, Tribal, Techno and Old School House. Other local DJs taking the stage include Tamika, a multi-genre DJ whose sound pays homage to her multi-cultural heritage and eclectic music taste; and Uncle Karly, who is also a powerful advocate for arts development in Eswatini.

MTN Bushfire is a family friendly festival and the KidZone in 2024 will be busy space with this year’s theme “African Safari”, an environmentally conscious, fun and interactive activation centered around the conservation of wild African flora and fauna. Little Fire Starters will get to explore rewilding themes and assimilate natural habitats through various activities like the Wildlife Sanctuary, Garden Safari, Karaoke, Cultural Village Experience and so much more! Childminders will be there to look after your little ones, too.

Make sure to pamper your tastebuds at the Global Food Village and indulge your inner shopper at the Barn Marketplace, where you will discover memorably creative, sustainably sourced quality products and services on offer. This space is designed for the ethical consumer, with each company or artisan contributing in a positive way to the environment and their communities.