Jun 19, 2012
National Arts Festival
If you are staying at Green Fountain Farm Resort around the 28th June to the 8 July why not pop down the road to The National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Only 34kms away it is a must visit for any art enthusiast.
Every year for 15 days Grahamstown’s population almost doubles, as over 50 000 people make the move to the city for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment. Expect every hall or room to become a theatre. Parks and fields become flea markets. The festival offers more than 500 shows from opera, cabaret, drama and jazz to stand-up comedy and folk music. Organised by the Grahamstown Foundation, Africa’s largest and most colourful cultural event offers a choice of the very best of both indigenous and imported talent.
Experience a hassle-free festival by following a few of these guidelines. Here are a few tips for first time adventurers:
- Festival first timers should plan carefully. Book some shows ahead. Allow enough time to view exhibitions, take a tour, to shop at the craft fairs and to fit in any hit shows that are creating a buzz.
- The festival programme and venue map contains all information on both Main and Fringe events. Be sure to purchase a copy on arrival in Grahamstown at any of the information centres.
- To get around easily know where your nearest Hopper Busses are. The timetable for the Hopper service is printed on the back of the loose venue maps.
- Apart from the restaurants and food stalls on the streets, most venues offer a steady supply of sustenance at all hours. Alcohol beverages are on sale at many venues.
- The daily Festival Newspapers contain reviews and articles by leading arts writers, daily schedules, updates and programme changes. Find out what’s hot and what’s not in the Cue Clips section.
- In contrast to the Main Festival events, which are selected by the Festival Committee, the Fringe is open to all applicants, without pre-selection. Some of the most exciting artistic development and dynamic talents in our country were first spotted on the Fringe in Grahamstown. When selecting shows to see, choose at least one that you know nothing about. You never know, it may turn out to be the highlight of the Festival.
- Be sure to book your tickets in advance but also keep in mind that tickets may also be bought at performance venues 30 minutes prior to starting times.