Africa: Eswatini’s MTN Bushfire Festival 2020 Cancelled due to Coronavirus


As the world grapples with the scourge of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, organisers of the annual MTN Bushfire Festival in Eswatini, Southern Africa have announced the immediate postponement of this year’s edition, until 2021. Many countries have already banned large gatherings due to the coronavirus which has already led to the cancellation of major tourism events like ITB Berlin, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Africa, IMEX, etc.

The information from the MTN Bushfire Festival Facebook page can be read below…

With the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) increasing in Southern Africa and across the globe, MTN Bushfire, together with government stakeholders, its partners and sponsors have made the joint decision to postpone the 14th Edition of the MTN Bushfire festival to 28-30 May, 2021.

As a socially conscious and conscientious festival, MTN Bushfire prioritises the health, safety and security of the Eswatini community, the festival staff and guests. MTN Bushfire believes that this is the responsible decision to make in recognition of these extraordinary circumstances.

MTN Bushfire will #KeepTheFireBurning! Therefore, festival tickets and camping passes that have already been purchased will still be valid in 2021.

The festival has also entered into negotiations with all other travel and accommodation partners to ensure that guests can defer their bookings to 2021 festival dates. Festivalgoers are encouraged to contact the relevant travel and accommodation providers to make these arrangements.

To those who can’t make it to the 14th Edition of the festival in 2021, information on refunds for festival tickets will be made available on 27 March, 2020. The process, terms and conditions will be announced then.

Over the past week, the festival has been in consultation with key Eswatini government stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade. MTN Bushfire has also been in talks with MTN Eswatini, sponsors, partners and other relevant parties.

The Team acknowledges the massive economic and cultural impact that the festival has for local creatives and traders, and the region as a whole.

However, these discussions and the ultimate decision to postpone this year’s festival have been guided by a collective priority for the safety of the people of Eswatini, festival guests and staff members.

This has been an emotional time for the dedicated and hardworking team at MTN Bushfire, and for everyone who has committed to making the MTN Bushfire experience yet another successful and memorable one.

The team will continue to fulfill the festival’s unwavering commitment towards creating a safe space that celebrates diversity, encourages social inclusion and amplifies our call to action to positive social change, #BRINGYOURFIRE.

The 14th Edition of the festival is going to be an even more explosive and electrifying experience! Stay tuned for more exciting developments and our line-up which will be announced soon!

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