South Africa National Arts Festival

South Africa National Arts Festival (Grahamstown Festival)

Late June through early July
Grahamstown, South Africa, is the site for what is purportedly the world's largest arts festival after Britain's Edinburgh Arts Festival. Since the inaugural festival in 1974, this small city in the Eastern Cape has increasingly drawn more people for the 11-day National Arts Festival (also known as the Grahamstown Festival ), and has expanded its number of shows from 60 to more than 500. Organized by the Grahamstown Foundation, the festival takes both South African and international entrants.
The festival program manages an even balance of sophisticated and popular entertainment. Performances cross the spectrum from opera, cabaret, and jazz to stand-up comedy and folk music. The Fringe Festival, which in some years has featured up to 200 performances, attracts fans of more unconventional art.
The festival's largest theater venue is the 1820 Settlers National Monument. Smaller productions, which include those on the festival's fringe program, take place in any of the town's available public halls or large rooms.
Grahamstown has also gained a reputation for the enormous street market that materializes during the festival and bolsters the region's economy. Traders come from all over the Eastern Cape and set up stands in public parks and market squares to sell homemade and manufactured products.
CONTACTS:
National Arts Festival
P.O. Box 304
Grahamstown 6140 South Africa
www.nafest.co.za
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