The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

Photo courtesy of Grahamstown National Arts Festival. See photo credits below under "Sources"
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Summary Info Festival Story Not AvailableFestival EventsOther SourcesPractical Info

Country and Region South AfricaEastern Cape
Type of Festival Dance, Drama, Music
Location of Festival Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Festival Contact Information

The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
National Arts Festival
P. O. Box 304
6140 Grahamstown
South Africa
Phone: (27) 46-603-1103, or (27) 46-622-4341
Fax: (27) 46-622-3082

Festival Description

The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown: Africa’s largest and most colorful cultural event offers a choice of the very best of both indigenous and imported talent. Every year for 11 days (June/July) Grahamstown’s population almost doubles, as over 50,000 people flock to the city for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment. Every hall or large room becomes a theatre, parks and sport fields become flea markets, normally quiet streets have to be managed by an army of temporary traffic wardens, and every available bed in the city is booked. The festival offers more than 500 shows from opera, cabaret, drama and jazz to stand-up comics and folk music. From theatre to dance, opera to cabaret, fine art to craft art, classical music to jazz, poetry readings to lectures, every art form imaginable is represented in one of the most diverse festivals in the world. And there’s something for every taste, with techno raves, mediæval banquets, craft fairs, cyber cafes, carnivals, buskers and walking tours. The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown is a section 21 company (non profit) and is run by a Board of Directors.

Festival Dates June 28 - July 8, 2012
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Call for proposals 2012:
  • The 38th edition of the National Arts Festival takes place from 28 June – 8 July 2012 and any parties interested in submitting proposals for productions to be presented on the Main programme are invited to do so by no later than Friday 19 August. For more information please visit


Other Sources:

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Podcast Interviews:
  • Pictures from National Arts Festival 2004 at smugmug
Photo Credits for Slideshow:
  • Image of Three Buskers, photo by Suzy Bernstein
  • Mark Fransman, by Magriet Theron
  • Clockwise, Marc Uys & Jacqueline Kerrod, by Steve J Sherman
  • Madosini, by Suzy Bernstein
  • Umrhube 2
  • Sibongile Khumalo
  • Australia vs SA - theatre
  • I Claudia, by Guy Delancy
  • Dada Masilo, by Suzy Bernstein
  • Anya Carstens, Don Quixote production, by Susanne Holbaeck-Bergh
  • Skin, Gwyneth Noot-Griffiths
  • Intiem, Tossie van Tonder, by Joelle Chesselet


Practical Info:

How to get there:
  • By Car
    Take the N2 out of Port Elizabeth; some 125km (77 1/2 miles) northeast is the turnoff for Grahamstown.

  • By Bus
    Greyhound and Intercape operate daily between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth.
    Phone: (27) 46-622-2235
  • By Plane
    Fly in to Johannesburg and on to Port Elizabeth international airport.

    Visitor Information:
  • South African Tourism information and brochure request.
    Phone: (27) 870-155-0044

    Accomodation (Caravan and Camping Sites):
  • Albany SPorts Club
    Contact: Mr Dyson
    Phone: (27) 46-622-3388 (business hours), or
    (27) 46-622-2960 (after 17:00)
    Conact: Geraldine Sawyer
    Phone: (27) 46-622-7207

  • Grahamstown Municipal Caravan Park
    Contact: Dianna Bates
    Phone: (27) 46-603-6093
  • Hoerskool PJ Olivier
    Contact: Jenny Waters
    Phone: (27) 46-622-3322 (between 08:00 and 15:00)
  • Rhodes University Accommodation
    Contact: Conference Manager
    Phone: (27) 46-603-8772
    Fax: (27) 46-622-3659
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