MTN BUSHFIRE FAQ’S
Q. When does the festival start and end?
A. Official MTN Bushfire Campsite is open from 11am on Thursday for those with confirmed booking. Campers will be allowed on to the festival grounds from Thursday, 11am until midnight, arrivals outside of this time are advised that they will not be accredited for admission into the campsite until the check-in desk re-opens; Friday 9:00am until 12:00 am on Saturday.
The festival dates and times are as follows;
Friday: 16:00hrs – 03:00hrs
Saturday: 10:00hrs – 03:30hrs
Sunday: 10:00hrs – 00:00hrs
Q. Will You Be Posting Performance Times in Advance?
A. Initial programme updates will commence in November 2018. The full festival programme will be posted on the website and social media pages by the end of February. The programme with set times will be available in April.
Q. How do I apply to perform at the festival as an artist?
A. Submit an application form from the beginning of August to the end of October annually via the MTN Bushfire website. Due to the high number of applications received, only successful applicants will be contacted.
Q. I’m a member of the media. How do I get a media pass?
A. Please visit our press accreditation page.
Q. How do I apply to sell my products at the festival?
A. Submit your application form during the trader application period on our website. Applications open on the 5th of November 2018 to the 1st of February 2019. Only successful applicants will be contacted and will then be required to pay the stall fee to secure a space at the festival. Late applications will not be considered.
Q. Will I be able to buy food and drinks at the festival?
A. A wide variety of food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for the duration of the event, supplied by various vendors at the festival.
PLEASE NOTE: Your own food or beverages will not be permitted in the festival arena.
Q. Will There Be Vegetarian/Vegan Food at The Festival?
A. Yes, you’ll be able to get your fill of all kinds of tasty foods from the Global Food Village suitable for all types of diets
Q. Are Credit Cards Accepted? What About Debit? Cash?
A. Bushfire festival is a cashless environment. To purchase food and drinks, you will need to have a cashless wristband which you can preload before the festival from the Howler website or, load units from our cashless stall at the festival. However, vendors at the Marketplace will accept cash. Credit and debit cards will also be accepted by the majority of vendors in the Marketplace.
Q. Will there be ATM facilities available?
A. Yes, however it’s suggested that attendees come prepared to avoid any inconvenience or disappointment due to technical issues or queuing.
Q. Will there be first aid or medical services available on site?
A. Yes, First Aid services are available on site.
Q. Will there be electrical outlets or charging stations for mobile phones?
A. Mobile charging stations are catered for in the main festival arena as well as Official Bushfire festival campsites.
Q. I will be attending the festival but not camping on site. Can I get access to the camping site?
A. No. Only people with camping wristbands will be allowed into the campsite.
Q. Where can I buy tickets?
A. You can purchase tickets online here.
Pre-sale tickets (Phase 1) are now available, shortly after these run out Pre-sale ticket (Phase 2) will kick in. Festival goers are encouraged to purchase their tickets as early as possible. Bushfire tickets have sold out for 5 consecutive years.
Q. How much do tickets cost?
Children under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult. Children aged 0 – 5 can enter the festival for FREE. Children aged 6 – 12 have to purchase the Full Festival Children ticket.
Q. What is the difference between Main Arena and Golden Lounge tickets?
A. Golden Lounge tickets offer comfortable seated area, with prime viewing of the Main Stage , complete with a private bar, dedicated table service and exclusive access to Malandela’s restaurant.
The Main Arena ticket option provides access to the MTN Bushfire main festival arena with standing room in front of the main stage.
Enjoy our variety of offerings for all ticket holders including performances from the festival’s various stages, explore the Marketplace and sample world cuisine from our Global Food Village.
Q. Are children allowed into the Golden Lounge?
A. Children are only allowed into the Golden Lounge if they are in the company of an adult that has a Golden Lounge pass and must be supervised at all times.
Q. Are there single day passes?
A. We only have Sunday single day passes. To attend the festival on Friday and Saturday, you have to purchase the full festival pass. Sunday tickets will go on sale from MTN outlets in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) in due course.
Q. Is a full festival pass three separate tickets?
A. No. A full festival pass or 3-day pass is a single wristband that is worn for the entire weekend.
Q. Will there be tickets sold at the gate?
A. No. Tickets sell out every year in advance, so we encourage you to purchase online before they sell out.
Q. What is the refund policy?
A. There are no refunds on purchased tickets.
Q. Can I give my ticket to a friend?
A. Yeah sure! You may assign your e-ticket via email to a different holder. For assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What is ‘Cashless’
A. A platform which uses NFC technology on your wristband, to transact at the festival. You simply load money (via cash or credit card) onto your wristband at various top-up points and then you simply tap and go at all food and beverage stands.
Q. Can I pre-load money on to my wristband?
A. Yes. Visit www.howler.co.za and click on “Wallet” tab. Pre-loading is for MTN Bushfire 2019 is now available.
Q. What do I need to do before I can start using my wristband for tap-and-go purchases?
A. Either pre-load online or Find a Top Up station at the Festival to load cash onto your wristband.
Q. How do I use my wristband to transact at the festival?
A. Tap your wristband against any trader’s mobile device, at any of the Festival’s bars, merchandisers, or traders to instantly complete your transaction. Your cashless balance will reflect on the trader’s mobile device once the transaction is complete.
Q. Are there any charges for Top Up and Tap-and-go purchases?
A. No. These services are available to you for free.
Q. What do I do If I still have money in my wristband after the festival?
A. No worries, you can cash out online on to your bank account. Sign up at www.howler.co.za and click Cashout within the “Wallet” tab. You will be able pair your wristband using the number printed on the back.
What Can I bring?
Q. What can I bring into the festival?
A. The organizers reserve the right to refuse admission into the festival site at any time. Any bags brought into the event are subject to search upon entry.
The following items are prohibited and will not be allowed into the venue:
- Weapons, explosives, firearms, glass bottles, aluminium cans, hazardous and breakable materials.
- Fireworks, lasers, flashlights, unauthorized professional recording devices and anything else that can interfere with the performances.
- No camping gear of any kind (except for camp chairs) will be allowed into the festival venue. They are allowed in the campsite with a valid camping ticket.
- No illegal drugs of any kind are allowed in the festival or campsites. You may be prosecuted.
- No drinking of alcohol outside the festival entrance or in the parking lot. You may be prosecuted.
Q. Are children allowed into the festival?
A. Absolutely. Children are welcome to the festival. The festival is a family friendly zone.
Children under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult. Children aged 0 – 5 can enter the festival for FREE. Children aged 6 – 12 have to purchase the Full Festival Children ticket.
This ticket also gives access to the MTN Bushfire Kidzone, set in a blooming wilderness of succulent and outlandish trees which is an adventurous space for young fire starters to ignite their budding flames. Offering an array of stimulating and fun-filled activities ranging from storytelling, sculpting, music workshops and high energy lawn games; the secured space is perfect for the whole family. Each year, the festival works with a special theme for the Kidzone that inspires creativity, engagement and skills development for toddlers all the way up to teens.
Q. Are animals allowed into the festival?
A. No pets allowed in the festival or campsites.
Q. Can I bring food and drinks into the festival venue?
A. No. Food and drinks are not allowed into the festival.
Q. Are signs and flags allowed into the festival?
A. Flags that are used to identify your group may be brought in, but discretion is advised when constructing or designing these items, as they may sometimes be considered offensive.
Q. Are camp chairs allowed into the festival?
Q. Can I take pictures and record videos during the festival?
A. Professional DSLR, recording devices, video equipment that have not been pre-approved will not be allowed into the festival grounds. At the artists’ request, all unauthorized recording will be prohibited and illegal filming and/or recording will result in legal actions.
Q. When are the campsite opening and closing times?
A. The All Out Africa Bushfire Campsite will open on the Thursday before the festival. Campers can check in from 11 am on 23rd May.
The check-in desk opening times for 2019 are:
- Thursday 11 am until midnight (arrivals outside of this time are advised that they will not be accredited for admission into the campsite until the check-in desk re-opens).
- Friday 9:00am until 12:00 am on Saturday
Groups of 45 plus will need to pre-arrange an arrival and set up date and time with the All Out Africa team. Temporary vehicle access for groups will only be allowed on the Thursday before the festival to set up camp.
The onsite café will open from midday on Thursday until 11 am on Monday.
Q. Can I park my car next to my tent?
A. Yes, provided, you book one of our limited availability car camp tickets along with your Bring Your Own (BYO) camping ticket. This ticket allows you to park your vehicle next to your tent in our specially designated Car Camp Zone. If you have a child under 16 and have purchased a Family Car Camp ticket and Family Camping for each member of your family, then you can park your car next to your tent.
Parking next to any of our ready erected tents is not permitted but all those in these zones plus the BYO general camping zone are able to park in the large campsite parking area, within walking distance of the campsite. This parking is reserved solely for those festival goers who are camping in the All Out Africa Campsite.
Q. Is there electricity on the All Out Africa Campsite?
A. There is lighting in each section of the All Out Africa Campsite, but we do recommend that you bring a torch with you, especially if you are staying in the Forest Fire Zone.
There are no plug-in electricity points on the site for caravans or campers. However, if you want to charge your phone or camera you can do so for a small fee at the All Out Africa Information Desk which is situated next to the Campsite Café.
Q. Is there security at the All Out Africa Campsite?
A. Yes, your safety is our utmost priority. We have a long-standing partnership with Royal Swazi Police to ensure on your safety. Moreover, each of our camping zones is fenced off and will be manned by security guards. The main access points and gates will be manned by our assigned security teams. There will be additional security guards in place before the festival begins and throughout the festival.
Each zone is assigned a specific wrist band to ensure that only those campers that are eligible to can access each zone.
In terms of personal items, we recommend that you only bring items that are necessary, as there will be 3500 – 4000 campers onsite during the festival. Please keep your valuables with you. If you require items kept in a secure place, such as car keys, there is a safety holding box at the All Out Africa Information Desk where you can deposit your valuables for a small fee.
Q. Can I make my own braai in the All Out Africa Campsite?
A. Braai is an important part of the camping experience in eSwatini and we are happy for you to bring your own barbeque or braai stand if you are staying in the BYO Camping or Family Camping zones. Please note that braais are not permitted in the ready erected tent zones – Tent Village, Forest Fire and Canvas Camp.
Fires lit on the ground are not permitted in any zone and you will be asked to put it out as fires are a health and safety hazard, especially in the forest areas. Please therefore bring your own braai with you.
Q. Can I bring alcohol into the All Out Africa Campsite?
A. Yes, you can bring alcohol into the All Out Africa Campsite but please note that you are not permitted to take any liquids into the Bushfire Festival site.
Q. Can I buy food at the All Out Africa Campsite?
A. The All Out Africa Campsite Café is open 24 hours a day from the Thursday at 12:00noon until the Monday morning at 11:00am. The café serves teas, coffee and juices 24hours a day. Muffins, brownies and breakfast baps are available before midday and savoury wraps are available from midday onwards, subject to availability. The Global Food Village in the main Bushfire Festival site offers a wide range of food options, hand-selected for you to purchase.!
Q. Can I transfer my camping ticket?
A. The transferring of tickets is not ideal as it often leads to confusion on check in. However, it is permissible on the Howler site. To avoid confusion on arrival, please ensure that if you do transfer your ticket that the person you sell to knows your details.
Q. Can I transfer part of the Camping Travel Package ticket to someone else?
A. No. When you buy your Camping Travel Package, your transport, tent and festival ticket are assigned to you. You are not permitted to give away any of the elements of the package to someone else. If this is done, the whole ticket will be invalid.
Q. Do you welcome groups?
A. Absolutely however we do have a maximum capacity for groups to ensure that everyone is able to join us and to enjoy the camping element of the festival. We accommodate groups in our BYO camping section and we ask that tents are set up in rows rather than in a circle so that there is room for everyone. If you want to bring a group of over 45 people please email us at email@example.com to discuss arrangements for check in. We will discuss permitted tent sizes, the use of kitchens and gazebos as well as what constitutes a group. Please note that we are unable to coordinate group members and this is the responsibility of the group leader. Please ensure you have a group list and can be contacted at all times.
If you are promoting Bushfire Festival tours you need to ensure that you have the permission of the Festival to do so and have made arrangements with the campsite. Failure to do so will result in your group not being permitted to join the festival.
Please note that all groups must ensure that their campers have a festival ticket as those without a festival ticket will not be permitted to enter the campsite grounds. Festival tickets will not be available at check in so you will need to ensure that everyone has their ticket before heading to the festival. We won’t be able to help you with this on arrival.
Please note that use of MTN Bushfire and All Out Africa’s artwork for the purposes of promoting your tours is prohibited unless with the explicit written consent of the organizers. For assistance with this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Can we bring crew with us?
A. Yes this year we are permitting the following (driver, set up team or cooks):
- Group size 30 – 50 – 5 crew camping only bands
- Group size 30 – 50 – 5 crew camping only bands
- Group size 50 – 80 – 6 crew camping only bands
- Group size 80+ – 10 crew camping only bands
Additional crew are not permitted. All crew must purchase BYO camping wristbands and numbers must be agreed in advance, not on arrival. There is no capacity for additional people on site.
Q. What are the camp set up rules?
- Arrival –all groups must have registered with us at email@example.com and have agreed an arrival time so that we can coordinate access to the site. Please see below for arrival process.
- It is easier for groups to set up on the outside of the BYO camping area due to access when setting and packing up equipment. If you don’t intent to camp until the Monday this is especially important.
- Tents must be set up in rows rather than in a circle so that there is room for everyone. Any camp that sets up in a circle will be asked to rearrange their camp.
- There must be one crew member with the camp at all times for groups.
- One group area is permitted per group for meals and socialising
- Tent size is 2m x 2m and a maximum of 2.5m x 2.5m is permitted (exception is the family zone where it is expected that a family sized tent will be used for camping)
- 1 gazebo / kitchen gazebo per group at a cost of ZAR 1000 (this should have been discussed in advance)
- Generators are not permitted anywhere on site
A. Absolutely. We welcome families and have set up a Family Camping Zone which is exclusively for those with children under 16 years of age. Children are eligible for cheaper camping tickets too!
If you don’t have your own camping equipment and want to bring our family with you, we recommend the Canvas Camp and Forest Fire zones.
Q. How do I book my camping tickets?
A. Camping tickets are only available to purchase through the Bushfire website. Groups over 45 people should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make their arrangements but are asked to purchase festival tickets online. Traders, Media and Artists should speak to their relevant contact person in the Bushfire Festival team to discuss their arrangements. Sponsors, Service Providers and Activators should ensure that any arrangements regarding camping have been confirmed with relevant teams, well in advance of the festival.
It is anticipated that all camping spots will sell out in advance of the festival and therefore no camping tickets will be available for purchase during the festival so please book early to secure your spot.
Q. Where do I collect my tickets?
A. Your camping and festival tickets must be obtained from the All Out Africa Bushfire Campsite Check-In Desk. Please ensure that you go to the correct zone as you will not be able to check in to different zones.
Q. Where is the festival venue?
A. House on Fire (our host venue) is 23km from the capital city, Mbabane, and is a short 14km from Ezulwini. Key in the following GPS coordinates – Elevation 756m – S 26’ 29.881 E031’ 13.110 to find us or use the Google Map coordinates: -26.4981694, 31.2147246,16
Q. What are the border operating times?
A. See border operating times here.
TIP: With over 29,000 people attending the festival, many of them coming from outside of Eswatini, the borders can be heavy with traffic. Consider using one of the lower volume border posts (they keep shorter hours than Golela and Oshoek) or think about planning your trip to arrive the day before or at least early in the day to avoid long waits at immigration.
SOUTH AFRICA REQUIRES ADDITIONAL PAPERWORK TO BRING MINORS ACROSS THE BORDER! PLEASE CONFIRM WITH YOUR NEAREST IMMIGRATION OFFICE!.
Q. What is the immigration procedure when entering eSwatini?
A. You will need a valid passport to enter eSwatini. You may also require an entry visa. Please check with your Embassy or the eSwatini Tourism Authority website for visa requirements.
Children under the age of 18 need a valid passport as well as an unabridged birth certificate and, if not travelling with both parents, a letter of consent for the adult they are travelling with. For comprehensive information on requirements, please visit this link.
Q. Do you have any travel packages?
A. See available MTN Bushfire travel packages here.
Q. I can’t find accommodation, what should I do?
A. Festival goers are highly encouraged to book their accommodation early since it always sells out fast! MTN Bushfire in partnership with several camping partners have put together various camping options, click here to explore. We have also put together a handy alternative list of accommodation for you to try out. Please note that you will not be able to purchase camping on arrival this year so you must book this in advance.
Q. I won’t be driving. What is a convenient way to get to and from the venue during the festival?
A. We have a park & ride service that will be available to pick up and drop off festival goers at various points around Mbabane, Ezulwini and Manzini. Check out our Facebook page for updates on schedule times and pick up/drop off points.
Q. Can I bring my electronics through the border?
A. It is recommended to declare all photographic and electronic equipment at the border.
Q. How do I apply to sell my product at the festival?
A. Submit your application form which is available on the apply here tab during the trader application period. We will let you know if your application is successful and you will be required to pay an advance booking fee for your stall to secure your space at the festival. Late applications will not be considered.
Q. Will security be provided?
A. Yes, security will be available from the beginning of the festival week. We are committed to safe guarding property. We have a long-standing partnership with Royal Swazi Police and private security guards who patrol regularly. MTN Bushfire is not liable for any loss or damage to your property.
Q. How do I manage my waste?
A. There will be a skip behind the stalls where traders can dispose of waste and a designated area to dispose of ash.
Q. Will there be washing facilities available?
A. Yes, there is a sink situated behind the food stalls for traders to wash your utensils.
Q. How do delivery vehicles access the festival with my stock?
A. Delivery vehicles will be able to deliver your stock to the trader parking lot, from there you will have to use your vehicle that has access inside the festival with your trader parking sticker, to bring your stock to your stall.
Q. If I need more trader tickets, can I get more?
A. If you need more trader tickets than we allocate, you will be required to purchase ordinary festival tickets.
Q. How many people will I have to cater for?
A. In 2018, over the course of the festival weekend, MTN Bushfire received over 29 000 attendees.
Q. Can I sell beverages at the festival?
A. All our beverages including water are supplied by authorized suppliers; therefore, individual traders are not permitted to sell beverages.
Q. How many food stalls are there?
A. The MTN Bushfire Global Food Village has around 20+ food stalls.
Q. Do all traders have to use the cashless system?
A. Yes, all traders are required to use the cashless system. A commission will be charged on turnover. Traders found trading in cash will be fined and closed down.
Festival Terms and Conditions
- You need a valid festival ticket, which must be presented at the gate, where you will be issued a wristband in order to enter the event.
- Your festival wristband must be worn on your wrist at all times.
- You will be allowed to go in and out of the festival venue as long as you keep your wristband on at all times for the duration of the festival.
- Wristbands are secured on your wrist, by our gates teams. Should your wristband become damaged or uncomfortable during the course of the festival, please report it to the gates teams for assistance.
- Please do not tamper with your wristband in any way, as this will deem it invalid.
- All attendees are subject to search upon entry.
- All ages are welcome. Admission for Children aged 5 and under is free.
All tickets are non-refundable. Multiple day tickets cannot be split. One ticket per person. Once purchased, please keep your tickets in a safe place and remember to bring them with you to the festival. Each ticket holder must be present when exchanging tickets for wristbands at Festival Check-in. An individual will not be able to receive wristbands for other ticket holders not present. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. If you lose your ticket, don’t panic, just reprint the confirmation proof sent via email.
Photography and recording disclaimer
By participating in the MTN Bushfire Festival, you consent to interview(s), photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their subsequent release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction for the purposes of news, web casts, promotional purposes, telecasts, advertising, inclusion on web sites, or for any other purpose(s) that Bushfire PTY, its vendors, partners, affiliates and/or representatives deems fit to use. You release MTN Bushfire Board, its officers and employees, and each and all persons involved, from any liability connected with the taking, recording, digitising, or publication of interviews, photographs, computer images, video and/or or sound recordings.
By entering the event premises, you waive all rights you may have to any claims for payment or royalties in connection with any exhibition, streaming, webcasting, televising, or other publication of these materials, regardless of the purpose or sponsoring of such exhibiting, broadcasting, webcasting, or other publication irrespective of whether a fee for admission or sponsorship is charged. You also waive any right to inspect or approve any photo, video, or audio recording taken by MTN Bushfire or the person or entity designated to do so by Bushfire PTY Ltd. By purchasing an MTN Bushfire Festival ticket or entering the premises, you have been fully informed of your consent, waiver of liability, and release before participating in MTN Bushfire.
By attending the festival, you assume all risks incidental to the event and release event management and their respective affiliates from all claims related to or arising out of the event or your presence at the event. The ticket you hold is subject to all applicable policies of the management of the event. The ticket is a revocable license to enter the event at the date and time listed on the front. What that means is that management reserves the right, without paying a refund, to refuse entry or eject you if you are not complying with all management policies applicable to the event.
The Event date and time is subject to change. Resale and/or transfer of the ticket may be prohibited by Management’s policies, and if so, any such resale and/or transfer is void to the maximum extent allowed by applicable laws. Any such unauthorized resale and/or transfer may result in refusal of entry without refund. Tickets not obtained directly from the Festival’s authorized ticket retailers may be lost, stolen, counterfeit or invalid, in which case they will not be honoured.