Arts festival: National Arts Festival, July 8-31, 2021 programme released- everything is online due to lockdown regulations

The National Arts Festival 2021- July 8-31,2021

Where: Online  – NOTE- no live events taking place in Makhanda, 2021

NAF 2021 online includes: Curated Programme, Fringe, Standard Bank Jazz Festival, exhibitions, workshops, Eastern Cape Showcase, Theatre for Young Audience

Format: Some shows/events are being presented as live streams on Zoom and other platforms – via the NAF platform. Watch at an appointed time, ‘live’ in real time; live. Most of the live offerings will be recorded and will be available as VOD (video-on-demand). Many shows (on Curated Programme and Fringe) have been pre-recorded and will be available at any time between July 8-31, 2021. The Fringe will remain up, after the end-date of the 2021 festival but the programme will depend on what independent artists decide to keep on the Fringe platform

Festival Pass- Curated Programme: R1000 (thousand rand – about 60-70 Euros/US Dollars).  This gives access to all shows on The Curated Programme AND to the Standard Bank Jazz Festival

Standard Bank Jazz Festival Pass: R800. Yeah, it makes sense to purchase the Festival Pass as it then costs you R200 to click into the Jazz Festival

Fringe tickets: Purchased for individual shows. There is no Fringe Pass. Artists on Fringe, take 90% of door and 10% goes to NAF for admin.

Individual tickets to Curated Programme: Yes. Singles may be purchased- see website

Worldwide access: Most offerings are not geo-blocked/locked but that depends on whether platforms like Zoom are available in countries

Free offerings: Scroll through NAF website to find these events. If there is no ticket price, it is free    

The 2021 NAF was conceptualised as a hybrid event- with live and virtual offerings. Some of the live offerings were able to be hosted, in cities in South Africa. Sadly, the Covid Delta Variant brought live to a grinding halt. The NAF had already cancelled live shows in Joburg when increased lockdown regulations brought the curtain down on hosting shows in venues with audiences-in-attendance. This means that it is not possible to host Makhanda Live as was planned. To be clear, if you are in Makhanda, you cannot pitch up at a venue to watch a show that you had booked for, although you may see action at that venue as the show may be on the go, with a crew, filming that production, for streaming on the NAF online platform.  A provision in the Broadcast Act, allows shows to be filmed in venues, with strict adherence to Covid safety regulations. Ticket holders for what was meant to be the live NAF, are being refunded. An innovation of NAF 2021 is to flight as much live content, as possible. As NAF CEO, Monica Newton says, one makes “appointment” to watch at a specific time. It is like booking for a show at a theatre and attending at a specific time. The difference is that we are attending, online, from home or wherever else we may be. Some of the live streams, will have chat functions. This means that the audience can chat with each other in the chat bar. This is a lot of fun for comedy shows – to see who else is watching – and to connect with viewers around the world. Most live offerings will be recorded and then may be watched as VOD (video-on-demand) during the festival. In addition to the live component of the festival, showa has been pre-recorded –such as the Standard Bank Jazz Festival.  Navigating live can be challenging but it has its own buzz and immediacy. If you tune in and the feed is delayed, chill and be patient. When we attend live shows at venues, there are often glitches and delays and we go with the flow. It often adds to the experience as each live event is a different incarnation. The same holds for ‘live’ live stream- when shows goes out in real time – in the moment – and not as pre-recorded content. There may be pauses and the screen may go dark. It may buffering. There may be loadshedding. Your internet may be slow. Be in the moment and stay with the stream. The NAF website has a help chat and a customer care line, to assist with queries. Info, below, as supplied by the NAF:

    Check the Calendar  
            Find the Festival Here         SAMRO is a supporting sponsor of the 2021 National Arts Festival