Fest this year was bigger than ever

By Andrew Wassung and Dave Scott

The 33rd annual National Arts Festival in Grahamstown was a great success. The festival, which ran from 28 June to 7 July, had over 143 400 people attending the various events, which was an increase of 1,73% from last year. The main programme’s events showed an increase of 10.11% attendance, while monetary sales increased by a total of 11,65%.

Some of the highlights included Black Mamba and Corne and Twakkie’s Most Amazing Show. Acclaimed singer and songwriter, Eagle Eye Cherry took De Tap Huijs by storm in a complete sell out in his debut tour to South Africa.

“We are very satisfied with these results and the support shown”, says Festival Director, Lynette Marais. “More shows per venue and sold out shows indicate a good standard of work being presented and well supported.”

Rhodes drama student Rogan Kerr says, “It was a new face for Grahamstown, a new vibe that transformed the place completely.” NMMU student and first time fest goer Duncan Macaskill says “It was fantastic to realise how cultural and diverse this country can be; a real eye opener.”

The festival brings in an excess of R40 million a year to the region, with many residents of Grahamstown entirely dependent on the festival for a livelihood.

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