Friday, June 1, 2012


May 25th-27th, 2012

Bushfire: Swaziland’s International Festival of the Arts. 

This year’s theme was “Bring Your Fire” and it was for sure brought over three days of music, dancing, spoken word, giant puppetry, food and crafts.  It all takes place in a giant field behind one of Swaziland’s best entertainment facilities, House On Fire.  Sponsored by Swaziland’s one cell phone provider MTN, Bushfire is an awesome collection of creativity from all over Southern Africa.  Acts and vendors from Swaziland, South Africa, and Mozambique brought people together from all over Africa, Europe, America, Asia and even Australia in the name of giving back.  All proceeds go towards an organization that helps students in Swaziland gain sponsors to get a better education.  There were also vendors displaying the best of Swaziland’s handicraft business and an entire array of Southern African cuisine!!  Acts includes Swaziland’s own Country band, reggae artists, chart toping South African pop artists, dance troupes, rapper, and my favorite act Jeremy Loops – he does looping, a form of music where each instrument gets recorded separate and looped together – soooo cool.  He performed a set on Saturday, but then on Sunday did an impromptu set where anyone could come and record and instrument and then they created songs right there.  It was really fun and creative.  Everything about the festival was awesome and I can’t wait for next year!  

I braced the bitter winter nights to camp at a local backpackers near the festival grounds for the weekend.  Aside from 35F cold at night camping here was so cool.  This campsite provides the best scenic view in Swaziland and resides on a game park.  I woke up to breathtaking mountains bathed in morning sun, and had warthogs and springbok sniffing out my tent.  And for the amount of sleep I actually got, the cold really wasn’t too awful.  The festival went into the wee hours of the morning with Swazi DJs rocking the dance floor (or field for that matter).  Having to jump back into “work” Monday was hard; I think I could sleep for a whole week.

The Venue

Jeremy Loops

Giant Mozambiquan Puppets

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