Covid-19 sends National Arts Festival virtual

Published Mar 23, 2020


CAPE TOWN - The National Arts Festival held annually in Makanda, Eastern Cape will be hosting a completely virtual experience this year to mitigate the on-going Covid-19 event and travel restrictions. The call was made by CEO of the festival Monica Newton.

Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster and announced a ban on all major events exceeding 100 people. The international and domestic travel restrictions would also have made it difficult for artists and visitors to travel to Makanda. Newton says that by making the festival a virtual experience it will allow continued support for the artists and the arts.

“Going virtual will mean that the Festival can continue to support artists and the arts in 2020, by presenting work within a digital space. This way we can share some magic and hope with those who may still be confined to their homes. An opportunity to connect when we are being asked to distance ourselves from one another.”

The first-ever virtual National Arts Festival will be held from 25 June to 5 July 2020.

“We took the decision with a great deal of thought with less than 100 days to go until the festival. We had to think carefully about whether or not we could responsibly have artists continuing to develop work and visitors making bookings to prepare for a festival we weren’t sure we could offer in the context of the disaster management protocols,” she said.

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