national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, June 2, 2022


(Above: Bird’s eye view of a Sundowner Concert)

Three exciting new shows have been added to the National Arts Festival 2022 programme!

Amanda Black, Ringo Madlingozi and Bongeziwe Mabandla will each perform live in Makhanda for one night only during the Festival and bookings are now open at

(Right: Amanda Black)

These incredible artists are part of a series of musical highlights spread across the Festival’s two weekends, with plenty of jazz, music, theatre, dance, comedy, visual art, performance art and more throughout the eleven days. Remember that, due to COVID-19 regulations, our venues are only at 50% capacity, so book your tickets early.

Some of our resident artists have already begun moving into town. Japanese artists Chikara Fujiwara & Minori Sumiyoshiyama are plotting their ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style walking project Engeki Quest. Previously created in Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau, Düsseldorf, and Lausanne among other places - it's in Makhanda for #NAF2022.

(Gavin Krastin’s “12 Labours” walkabout)

Gavin Krastin, 2021 Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art, and a team of queer gnomes have embarked on a series of good deeds to uplift the town for his work 12 Labours - a celebration of the modern hero who activates civic works.

Kagiso Mokgadi, Yaaseen Barnes and Dalin Oliver will kick off the day with some comedy as they host The Breakfast Podcast – a check-in with artists and friends as we return to Makhanda in June and July 2022.

(Dalin Oliver, Kagiso Mokgadi & Yaaseen Barnes will host “The Breakfast Podcast””

Catch the daily Sundowner Concerts at The Monument; these free concerts are a must for discovering brand new talent and soaking up the sound of the Festival.

Make sure you visit the newly refurbished Power Station, which is now a year-round hub for creative businesses, artists and crafters and an exciting new attraction for Makhanda.

Lunch at the Village Green; find your favourite food truck, pick up some delicious treats and take home some precious souvenirs. You’ll also be able to replace that forgotten woollie beanie or extra warm scarf while supporting local crafters and traders.

Browse the exhibitions that are placed in venues throughout the town and look out for artist’s walkabouts or Art Talk discussions to deepen your understanding of the works you see.

(Above: There's always someone interesting at the Village Green - taken at the 2018 festival)


Travel & Accommodation

Looking for somewhere to stay? Makana Tourism is on hand to assist with accommodation to suit your needs.

To get to Makhanda you can fly into Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) on one of the direct daily flights from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town (which takes no more than 1.5 - 2 hours). The scenic drive from Gqeberha to Makhanda is about 120km. The distance from East London is much the same.

If you prefer not to hire a car, buses and shuttles provide regular trips from Gqeberha and East London. If you’re coming in from Gqeberha, we recommend you stop for a legendary Nanaga pie and pineapple juice on the way.

If you’d prefer to get to Makhanda by coach, the newly relaunched Greyhound currently has some very affordable tickets on offer.


Covid Regulations, Water Management & Loadshedding

The National Arts Festival will be strictly observing the current COVID-19 regulations, which include 50% capacity in venues, mandatory mask wearing and regular hand sanitising. We’ve left more time between shows to ensure that all of these safety measures can be adequately monitored to keep you, our artists and crews safe.

Makhanda is still in the grip of an unrelenting drought and the City is managing water resources carefully. Water is available daily but, based on daily usage, there may be throttling at night to allow reservoirs to be replenished. Please be sure to chat to your accommodation provider about the water management restrictions in place where you are staying. Drinking water can be purchased throughout the town.

Load shedding remains a possibility nationally. Some of our venues are equipped with generators but if shows cannot proceed due to load shedding, we will refund your tickets and reschedule the show where possible.


From chilly Makhanda nights to sunny lunches on the Village Green, from extraordinary tales to belly laughs and heart-twisting moments of catharsis, the National Arts Festival is interwoven with memories for many of us - and future generations will inherit this magic if we continue to hold the stage for our artists, interpreters and storytellers. We’ve all been through so much these past two years and can’t wait to be back together. Let’s do it responsibly and make it a reunion to remember.

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