As one of the largest world music festivals recognized by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see,” we get the lowdown from communications officer Noncedo Dlamini on this year’s festival.
Why did you decide to be part of the MTN Bushfire Festival?
It is bucket list goals for so many people around the world, and as a young girl growing up in Swaziland, I definitely was not an exception. As the biggest event in Swaziland and one of the top festivals in Africa, I have always been fascinated by the MTN Bushfire brand. What interested me the most was how the festival could attract an international demography and still manage to remain a proudly Swazi event.
What has kept the festival going for so many years?
Besides the fact that we have a very passionate team running the festival behind the scenes, our festival is one of the most inclusive events in Africa and our fans are central to everything we do. Our visitors include children, teenagers, young adults, and the mature. We cater for all of these age groups by ensuring that our programme consists of content that is appropriate for each demography. At MTN Bushfire we cater for all of our customers’ needs in every aspect and the incredible experience they get every year is the reason they keep coming back!
What can festival goers expect this year that is different from the last?
As MTN Bushfire continues to grow, every year we raise the bar to improve the festival experience. This year is no different. In keeping with the latest trends in payment systems, festival tickets will be linked to your festival wristband. This innovative tap – and – go payment system, will be used to purchase food & drinks at bars and food vendors at the festival. Our team is also currently busy with the construction of the brand-new Firefly stage. We can’t wait for festival-goers to see it!
Which exciting acts can we expect this year?
The MTN Bushfire line-up is arguably always the most exciting, dynamic and global list. This year we have confirmed some amazing acts including:
• African legend Salif Keita,
• South African global exports Ladysmith Black Mambazo
• Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse
• Yemi Alade,
• Nonku Phiri,
• Something Soweto
• Radio 123
• Dear Ribane
• Flavia Coehlo
More artists are still to be confirmed and a full festival programme will be announced soon.
How do you get the safety aspect right?
We partner with the Swaziland Royal Police who are present on site throughout the festival to ensure a peaceful environment. We also employ various security companies and you will find security guards posted at the gates and all over the festival venue. While it is easy to get carried away in the fun festivities of the event, we encourage all Bushfire fans to stay safe on the roads during the festival weekend. To assist in ensuring this, MTN Bushfire has once again partnered with Sincephetelo MVA Fund and Total to provide a park & ride service that allows fans to park their cars in their respective towns and take a shuttle to travel between selected accommodation options and the festival.
What is the ultimate survive bushfire kit for a first timer?
Remember to pack your hat, sunblock and sunglasses; the days are sunny but the nights are chilly, so make sure you have a warm jacket for the evenings. Also pack comfortable shoes, like a good pair of sneakers, especially if you are more of an explorer and will be roaming around the venue a lot – 3 days on your feet is a lot if you have uncomfortable shoes on.
The MTN Bushfire Swaziland 2018 is from the 25th till the 27th of May.