At the end of May of each year, in Malkerns Valley in the city of Hhohho, Swaziland, the Bushfire Festival takes place. For three days, all throughout the weekend, the country hosts a family-friendly celebration of music and entertainment. This year is only the 7th for the festival, but it already brings in more than 20,000 people each year.
The main focus of Bushfire is dedicated to promoting African arts and music. Organizers seek to inspire the youth of Swaziland to enjoy and take part in the arts by exposing them to many international performances. They also use the proceeds from the festival to help children in the country who are suffering due to the current HIV epidemic.
There are many things to keep you occupied at Bushfire. There is a show featuring giant puppets, poetry and spoken-word performances, art exhibitions, sculptures and other installations and film viewings. Music is played all day and night at the House on Fire venue, featuring bands from around the world that play many genres. There is also a special area just for the kids and a market where one can buy regional food and handmade crafts.
All the profits of the Bushfire Festival are used to fund an NGO by the name of the Young Heroes Orphan Sponsorship Program. Their goal is to work with children who have lost their parents due to HIV.
The next Bushfire is taking place from May 31st to June the 2nd. If you make it to the festival, you have the option of either getting a hotel or trying your hand at camping out. Either way, you’ll be sure to enjoy the many forms of music and rich African culture.