Lira. Picture: Instagram
Lira. Picture: Instagram

Lira, Judith Sephuma and more set for second stay-at-home edition of NAF

By Supplied Time of article published Jul 7, 2021

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The art and music fraternity is all set for the second annual virtual National Arts Festival (NAF), which is scheduled to place from Thursday, July 8 till Saturday, July 31.

Fans around the world will have the opportunity to experience amazing theatre performances, dance, comedy, music, art, workshops, discussions, films, webinars all from the comfort and safety of their homes.

“Disappointed but undeterred”, the organisers of the annual arts event say they had already envisioned a “hybrid event” with both live and online shows.

NAF had planned to stage a small live programme in its home town of Makhanda with Standard Bank Presents live shows in Cape Town, Durban, Joburg and Gqeberha.

Following the president’s announcement to prohibit social gatherings, the NAF team recorded all shows for online programming.

The festival will now be fully online for its second stay-at-home edition.

“Our 2021 Festival was built with change in mind, we knew we might need a plan B and this was a part of our risk mitigation strategy from the start.

“The festival team is working at 200% to adapt our live programme to this new scenario in order to stick to our original 8th July opening date.

“We are confident that we can pull it off and the National Arts Festival Online will take place from 8-31 July,” explains NAF CEO Monica Newton.

For the first time in 46 years, the NAF shifted gears and moved the festival online.

“Together with our team, they are working incredibly hard to ensure work is filmed with all the professionalism and passion they had planned to put onto their live stage performances.

“Everyone has just taken a deep breath, adapted their plans and moved forward. After a devastating year for the arts, it felt very important to us to honour our commitments and financial obligations to all the people involved in the 2021 festival.

“We also have a great programme so the show simply has to go on,” added Newton.

Some of the top acts to catch on the Standard Bank Jazz Festival include Lira, Judith Sephuma, Feya Faku Sextet and Richard Bona.

Performances by 2020 Standard Bank Young Artists Lulu Mlangeni (dance), Sisonke Xonti (jazz) Nthato Mokgata (music), Jefferson Tshabalala (theatre) and an exhibition by visual arts winner Blessing Ngobeni will be free to explore.

A stellar lineup of the country’s best comedians will be split over three live shows in Makhanda, Cape Town and Joburg.

The line up includes Marc Lottering, Alan Committie, Robby Collins, Mojak Lehoko, Tumi Morake, Schalk Bezuidenhout, KG Mokgadi, Khanyisa Bunu and more.

The full National Arts Festival Online programme comprises 96 curated works, workshops and exhibitions on the online programme and 127 shows on the Fringe.

Ticket prices range from R40 to R1 000 (for a full festival pass).

For more information and full programme visit: nationalartsfestival.co.za.

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