Posters advertising Brendon Peel's magic shows. On Sunday assistant Li Lau was accidentally shot in the head by a crossbow. Picture: Supplied

CEO of the National Arts Festival Tony Lankester gave the thumbs up for year's generous attendance and popularity of a wide diversity of shows. 

Speaking at a media brunch on Monday morning he said, "There have been good strong sales over the weekend and the Gala Concert was sold out."  
He added, "The main thing is to get people here to experience a spread of live shows."

Speaking about the freak accident in which a magic show went horribly wrong, Lankester said magician Brendon Peel's co-performer and assistant Li Lau had recovered after an arrow had accidentally been shot in his head with a crossbow in one of the tricks at their "Carnival Sideshow" and "Other Magical Things" on Sunday. 

He was rushed to Settler's Hospital where the arrow was dislodged and Lau had been treated and had been fully conscious. The arrow had not entered his skull, said Lankester.

"The audience was evacuated and in a way this tested how well we could manage to handle an incident," said Lankester.

He added that festival coordinators also emailed members of the audience to offer counselling to those in need. 

"We have given robust support to this end," he said.

In a video on facebook, Lau told concerned fans who sent him messages, "The show will go on."

With a large focus on the Eastern Cape town's water shortage, Lankester told media that while it had been a "water busy weekend", as such they hadn 't experienced a water issue.

CEO of the Eastern Cape's  Parks and Tourism Agency, Vuyani Dayimani, said that the festival "demystifies the venue as such of Grahamstown".

He added, "To deliberately take this event to this destination it forces you to travel...

"There are a lot  of attractions here and the reality is the environment's exposing you to what's on offer.

He added, "Here we are unearthing new talents and in all this creativity there are stories that are going to remain."

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