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Monday, May 27, 2019


It’s a ride for the mind, a shelter for the soul and a trip well worth making. Make this the year that you get to the National Arts Festival which runs from June 27 to July 7, 2019.

If you are heading to Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown), then join the brand-new Facebook group for Festival Superfans – here you'll find useful info, hot tips and connections.

“One of the things that sets the National Arts Festival apart from most other Festivals in South Africa is how it attracts participation from artists around the world, giving our audiences the chance to see some amazingly special work,” says Tony Lankester, CEO of the National Arts Festival. “Find out what world-class productions will be on our local stages this June/July.”

Buy tickets online at or call the Box Office on 0860 002 004.

To find the 2019 programme, The Browse by Day function on the NAF website allows you to scroll through each day, with listings arranged chronologically. You can also view and download the full programme as a PDF. Or you can download an up-to-date Daily Diary.

The National Arts Festival App is another way to browse the programme. Download it free from the iStore (Android coming soon).

This year, copies are available for order from Takealot for R75 (+ R60 delivery. First-time orders qualify for free delivery). The Festival is changing the way they issue the programme for two reasons: the cost of printing has become too great for the Festival to carry alone; and there is always a lot of waste as many are not collected or used. The benefits of getting your programme through Takealot is that it is delivered straight to you.

There's a list of Takealot pick-up points where you can get your copy at

You will also be able to buy a programme from the Box Offices during the Festival for R75.

Congratulations to this year's Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art Gabrielle Goliath, who was recently named a Special Prize winner of the Future Generation Art Prize, a global award for artists under 35. She will be presenting her new work This Song Is For... at the Festival, which she describes as "a unique collection of dedication songs, each chosen by a survivor of rape and performed as a newly produced cover version, in close collaboration with a group of women-led and/or gender-nonconforming ensembles. These are songs of personal significance to the survivors – songs that transport them back to a particular time and place, evoke a sensory world of memory and feeling." Read the full interview at

This year, the Festival hosts the 2nd Creativate Digital Arts Festival. “It’s not just for artists. It’s not just for geeks. It’s for the insanely curious … those who want a glimpse into the future of creativity and who want to know more about the brave new world we’re entering, and how technology is giving artists more ways to tell their stories,” says Lankester Festival who is also the Creativate Co-curator Note that all Creativate exhibitions, talks and workshops are free.

To link direct to the NAF site click on the large banner that runs across the top of this blog or visit or visit Facebook:; Twitter: @artsfestival or Instagram: nationalartsfestival)