The Black Power Station

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Behind the scenes at NAF2019

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Our NAF staff are working around the clock to ensure that festival goers have easy access to shows and an amazing experience at the 2019 Festival.

#NAF2019 Village Green Vibes

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#NAF2019 Festival Vibes

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Sundowner Concerts at 2018 National Arts Festival

As the sun sets over Makhanda, voices rise inside the Monument… Every evening, between 17:00 and 18:00, Festival goers pack into the Fountain Foyer to catch the best of the Festival Fringe, with artists performing short excerpts of their performances. The Sundown Concerts are a true mix of what is on offer at the Festival – from comedy and illusion to dance and music. All performances are free, but donations are welcomed.



Fingo Festival 2018


The 8th Fingo Festival 2-7 July 2018 / Contact: Xolile Madinda 079 903-7016

Caught on stage by photographer Michelle Hodgkinson were international street artists SVEN FROM SWEDEN, whose unique comedy show includes juggling and other antics, and ALAKAZAM – THE HUMAN KNOT, a high-energy performance that left the crowd breathless.


Street artists at the Standard Bank Village Green

We invited some of the world’s top street artists to join us in Makhanda. They performed every day of the Festival, joined by some emerging and exciting new South African talent on the Amazing Stages at the Standard Bank Village Green Fair.

International artists included DYNAMIKE (Canada), who juggles chainsaws while riding a 3-metre unicycle and JACKIE CHAN CHAN (Japan), who presents a circus comedy show with high-level stunts and lots of jokes, music and dancing.


GRAHAMSTOWN: Seen around at #NAF18

There’s lots to see and do at the National Arts Festival, including activities, street performers, buskers and craft at the Standard Bank Village Green Fair, now located at Victoria Girls’ High School in Beaufort Street, Grahamstown.

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27 June: Official opening of 44th National Arts Festival

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The National Arts Festival has opened amid a joyful Eastern Cape celebration at the Monument on Wednesday evening that also noted the centenary years of home-born legends Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.

Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa reminded Festival-goers that the National Arts Festival remained a preserve of free expression: “It is where, as South Africans, we can be comfortable exploring who we are and being bold about what we stand for. It is where our artists speak truth to power and where we give meaning to our constitutional principles of free speech and free expression.”

Amid the celebrations, Eastern Cape Premier Phumalo Masualle extended his hospitality. “Welcome once again to our magnificent Province, the Home of Legends! It is my fervent belief that the Eastern Cape is home to South Africa’s warmest and most engaging people, and I join with each and every resident of our Province in welcoming you to this jewel in our artistic crown: the 44th National Arts Festival.”

The Eastern Cape’s MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Bulelwa Tunyiswa, commented that it was a significant year for the Province and the Festival. “This year’s National Arts Festival is one in which an emphasis is being placed on giving a voice to the voiceless in our society, something that is timeous and vital in our emerging democracy. At the same time, we recall and commemorate the legacy and values of two giants from our Province – Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, both of whom would have commemorated their 100th birthdays this year.”

National Arts Festival Festival Deputy Chair Elinor Sisulu gave thanks to the Office of the Eastern Cape Premier and Department of Sports Recreation Arts and Culture for “their recognition of the work that we do and for their support of the Festival”.


GRAHAMSTOWN: Behind the scenes

The 44th National Arts Festival will open on 28 June and the citizens of Grahamstown have rolled up their sleeves to get the town ready for visitors to the annual arts gathering.

“We have been encouraged by the proactive way in which a group of businesses, committed government officials and some of our energetic residents have united to get involved in making Grahamstown a town we can all be proud of,” says National Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester. “The activity ahead of the Festival is in full swing and visitors will be greeted by a clean and welcoming Grahamstown.”

From patching roads and filling potholes to clean-up campaigns initiated by the local schools, there is a lot going on behind the scenes to accommodate the Festival influx.