National Arts Festival is back with a fantastic programme

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Amanda Black
Amanda Black
Photo: Katlego Mokubyane

The National Arts Festival makes its in-person return this year from 23 June to 3 July. 

The festival this week announced new additions to its 2022 programme with one night only concerts from Amanda Black, Ringo Madlingozi and Bongeziwe Mabandla. 

The programme, already a feast of theatre, dance, music, jazz, visual art, comedy and more, is now live and open for bookings. 

CEO Monica Newton says the Festival is looking forward to welcoming the return of the artists and visitors, as is the town of Makhanda, which has missed the R90 million annual boost the festival has brought to its economy in years gone by. 

"A lot has changed in the years since our last live festival in 2019 and we are mindful that the economic situation in the country may have an impact on the number of visitors to this year’s Festival. We are heartened by the enthusiasm for the live Festival and bookings are starting to come in fast. 

"One of the realities we, along with the performing arts community, face is the 50% capacity rule in our venues. This will mean fewer seats and fewer tickets as well as less revenue for artists and the Festival. It’s going to take a while for us all to get back to ‘normal’ but we are making a strong start," says Newton.

In addition to the 50% capacity Covid-19 legislation, the festival has been designed to allow for more time between shows to ensure mask wearing and sanitising protocols are followed precisely. 

For the first time, ticketing will be paperless and all tickets bought on the festival’s online ticket platform can be displayed on a phone or tablet to gain entry.  

Those who won’t be making the trip this year will still be able to enjoy an online programme with some of the shows being live streamed from Makhanda as well as online shows created for virtual audiences to enjoy. 

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