It’s almost time for us to get ready to plan for Bushfire 2019, taking place from the 24th -26th May at the Kingdom of eSwatini. If you have never been to Bushfire Festival then you better start planning now. It’s more than just a festival – this living, breathing creative ecosystem deeply rooted on African soil, is best known for its inclusivity, welcoming approximately 26,000 guests from over 60 countries in an atmosphere of tolerance. It’s “Bring Your Fire” call to action promotes a passionate commitment to music, the arts and the environment, inviting fans of music, the arts, cultural exploration and environmental sustainability to become part of the thriving community. So here are a few tips & tricks to make the most of your experience if it’s your first time attending Bushfire (and even if you’re a veteran).
Packing for Bushfire:
Bearing in mind that in the month of May the weather is very unpredictable, we’ve compiled a guide for anyone attending Bushfire Festival. Just so you know, it can get extremely hot during the day and then pour down raining during the night and because the event takes place in a valley it can get EXTREMELY cold at night. Here’s a list of what to pack:
- Camp chair
- Sleeping bags (If you are camping like we did)
- Blankets – as warm as ever (it gets COLD so even if you are glamping always have an extra blanket – your sleeping bag alone won’t keep you warm)
- Snacks (from fruits, nuts, chips and your drinks of choice)
- A torch (your phone could have a build in one too but it’s more fun to have a torch or lamp)
- Plastic cups
- Plastic bags for trash
- A power bank or 2 (Fully charged because there are a few charging stations at the festival)
- Cooler Box
- Warm PJ’s and socks (We can’t stress the importance of warm socks!)
- A very warm jacket
Your toiletry bag will be your best friend – make sure you have the following:
- Flip Flops to shower
- Usual cosmetics
- Shower Gel, lotion, toothpaste
- Towel/s (Those HUGE ones so that you go to the shower area already in it – it helps trust us)
- Baby wipes
- Plasters & hand sanitizer
For the actual festival:
- Picnic blankets /mat
- Hats & sunscreen
Getting to Bushfire:
The best way is to road trip! We planned to drive down with a few friends and it took us just over 4 hours to arrive at the Oshoek border. We also decided to leave as early as possible, around 4am, to arrive before the chaos of the traffic at the border gate because Oshoek is one of the most frequently used gates. Other options include Jeppe’s Reef / Matsamo (open 07:00 – 20:00) or Nerston (open 08:00 – 18:00). While the Oshoek border gate is the busiest and most popular, it also opens for longer so you won’t get locked out.
It’s a beautiful drive down especially if you’re with people whose company you enjoy and have a well curated music playlist.
There are a few toll gates so have cash on hand on the trip and stop frequently for some fresh air and a bite to eat (we packed sandwiches and snacks so only stopped for the toilet & to stretch)
You will also pay R50 per car at the border for road tax so have that in handy too, luckily they do accept South African rands.
Where to stay:
There are a few options when it comes to accommodation for the festival such as;
Camping (Bring your own camping ) R450pp (This is for the full duration)
Stay in the large bring your own camping zone with people on their own, in small or big groups and immerse yourself in the festival experience. Your own equipment is needed but note that only large groups who have made arrangements in advance are permitted to bring gazebos. This campsite is in the official on site festival campsite provided by All Out Africa. You can park in our FREE official campsite parking area close to the main site or camp next to your car by purchasing one of our limited car passes in addition to your camping spot. This is the option we went for last year & it certainly was the FULL experience.
Camping (Bring your own – shared) R640pp (This is for the full duration)
Stay in our exclusive bring your own camping zone with extra shelter ideal for people on their own or those in small groups and immerse yourself in the festival experience while having a little more privacy. Your own equipment is needed but note that gazebos are not permitted in this area. This campsite is in the official on site festival campsite provided by All Out Africa. You can park in our FREE official campsite parking area close to the main site or camp next to your car by purchasing one of our limited car passes in addition to your camping spot.
Ready erected tent village 2 pax, 4 nights (ZAR 2,480.00 per tent)
Private camping area with ready erected tents, in walking distance of the festival entrance and amenities this campsite is fenced off from the main campsite and only those with Tent Village wristbands have access. This package allows camping for 2 people for the 4 nights of Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday May 23rd – 27th. Included is 1 x tent that sleeps 2 people, 2 x comfortable high density foam mattresses, 2 x pillows (you must bring own blanket or sleeping bag). This campsite is in the official on site festival campsite provided by All Out Africa. It is not possible to park your car in the ready erected camp area, but the official campsite parking area is FREE and is located nearby, a short walk from walk from the campsite check in gate.
More options are available on the website including the option for a hotel/AirBnb.
Your days are packed with lots to do especially if you are camping. Typically, performances will start around mid-day so you can wake up, stand in the long line for a shower, cook breakfast, play some games at the camp site and enjoy your morning before exploring out to the festival on the daily. Once you’ve secured your ticket the festival will send you the daily itinerary where you can easily see when your favourite performers will be performing and at which stage. There is also food being sold, a market and activities taking place at the festival all day. You can also spend your days exploring eSwatini. It’s recommended to tag your festival experience with some sight-seeing.
Tips on surviving bushfire:
- Be patient; when you arrive there are a lot of people and you need to just be patient. Luckily things are run so well that after about an hour you’ll be A-Okay.
- Try take your showers OFF peak: Try taking a shower very early when the water is hot around 4/5am or taking it late in the evening when people are sleeping.
- Be okay with NOT sleeping should you opt for the camping because you quickly realize that people are there to really have a good time.
- Get to know your camping community: Find out who your neighbors are because you might just need them plus you would be surprised how you can easily make new friends.
- Bring some fun games: There is a lot of time at camp so to pass time bring 30seconds or even play some beer pong before exploring at the festival.
- Early bird tickets are SOLD OUT.
- Phase one tickets are R800 for the whole weekend.
- Phase two will be sold for R900 each.
We hope you found this useful – visit www.bush-fire.com for more information & watch our experience here: