Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2018
The Grahamstown National Arts Festival, organised by the Grahamstown Foundation attracts over 50 000 people each year and is South Africa’s biggest arts and culture festival to date. Arts, music, theatre and crafts take centre stage and over 500 different performances, ranging from music to dance and opera are put on display.
This year, the festival will take place from 28 June to 8 July 2018 at various locations around Grahamstown. Enjoy your share of culture with a variety of street performances, buskers and performance art. Be enthralled by a world-acclaimed ballet or an opera. If you're a reveller looking party the night away, you can do so at the local watering hole, The Rat and Parrot. Alternatively, enjoy a quiet walk around the grounds of historic Rhode's University, or peruse the varied art exhibitions. Regardless, the National Arts Festival is a thoroughly engaging, entertaining, and educational way to take a winter’s vacation and indulge in the artier side of life.
The programme is divided between the main and fringe performance programmes, with the fringe representing the more independent and upcoming artists and performers. A more recent addition to the Arts Festival in Grahamstown has been the incorporation of the township and its culture into the festival through a series of township tours. The festival programme and setup changes every year, always offering something different. The special children’s programme caters purely for youth, leaving adults time to take in the vast assortment of entertainment available.
Every part of the town gets in the action and anyone that has something to offer is encouraged to participate. Every building that can be is utilised for performance space and locals rent out their houses to festival goers.
The Village Green lies centrally in the town and can also be considered the centre of the festival; transformed daily into a huge marketplace where tickets can be bought for events and entertainers can market themselves to the public. The green has a vast assortment of foods and crafts available, not to mention the beer tent, a popular socialising spot for festival-goers to meet people and discuss the ups and downs of the festival.
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