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Every year we read about the incredible growth of the Bushfire Festival and how this has led to full weekend tickets only; the popularity has meant a considerable price increase, tickets are sold out well in advance.

I was amazed to read that the ticket hike and the now full weekend ‘only’ tickets were due to the growing popularity of the event and the speed at which tickets were selling? Sorry, that’s a bit rich and purely money grabbing, forcing people to buy full weekend passes. 

Yet still we wait to see a truly current ‘A list’ international performer on stage here in the kingdom despite the Bushfire Festival’s ever growing popularity and it’s major corporate sponsor.

This festival has had many editions now, how many? Yet we still wait for a real jaw dropping, crowd pulling international act who everyone knows from the radio, TV, print media and probably award winning and chart topping music. 

A few years ago UB40 played to a huge sell out concert in Mozambique; they had double the expected numbers! Just recently Carlos Santana played in South Africa and many moons ago Eric Clapton came to Somhlolo National Stadium with Joan Armatrading - an amazing concert indeed! A few moons before that, reggae great Peter Tosh was at the Prince of Wales Ground. 

Paul Simon is preparing for his final live tour. The Bushfire Festival just had Ladysmith Black Mambazo headlining, so why not have them back next year and work on them supporting a Mr Simon appearance in the kingdom? I’d then be happy to eat a fat slice of humble pie!

After all these Bushfires and the reported growth in numbers, and popularity, why has the Bushfire failed to elevate itself to a level by now where big names coming to perform are the norm? Reading articles in the local media, this festival is apparently the best thing since sliced bread? OK, to be fair, they only said ‘Bushfire is the best festival ever’! Well I’m still waiting for them to…


NOTE: In an effort to afford them the right to reply, this letter was emailed to the Bushfire Festival organisers. And when a follow up call was made, they promised that they would do so, however, this has not happened.


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