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Festival: Virtual National Arts Festival, Makhanda
Happening entirely online from 25 June-5 July 2020, the Virtual National Arts Festival will be remembered for marking the historic year the 46-year-old Festival went online due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Festival will be presenting work that speaks to these unique times, and will feature the results of many new collaborations, experimental forms and new ways to engage with the arts and audiences.
The programme comprises no less than 250 productions, which equates to more than 120 viewing hours of shows. And more are still coming in to the Festival’s vFringe platform, which will be accepting works from artists and putting them up in ticketed ‘windows’ for audiences to browse and select.
The Virtual National Arts Festival (vNAF) will be entirely viewed through the portal of the newly redesigned www.nationalartsfestival.co.za website, with a daily programme of shows presented. A full festival pass that allows access to the entire curated programme, daily passes and passes to specific Festival elements such as the Standard Bank Jazz Festivals is sold via the website.
The vFringe will offer video on demand, and visitors will be able to buy tickets to individual shows. The live portal will link to events happening on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Zoom. Visitors to the vNAF will also be able to explore the Virtual Green fair, featuring goods from crafters, traders and makers, as well as Virtual Galleries, where visual artists participating on the vFringe will display their works.
The Standard Bank Jazz Festival remains a core feature of the Virtual National Arts Festival and the Creativate Digital Arts Festival, presented by Standard Bank, really comes into its own this year with its focus on the cutting-edge intersection of the arts and technology. This year’s Standard Bank Young Artists will be the first-ever to present their work online.
Rucera Seethal, the Artistic Director of the Virtual National Art Festival, says, “We have in this year’s programme a collection of strong artistic voices, rising in confusing and challenging times. Artists from across generations have found ways to comment, question, explore, reminisce, make jest, and scream out. It is a festival with both weight and wings.”
Visitors to the Festival will be able to explore the diversity of the South African arts offering, with some exciting international contributions rounding out the experience.
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