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Makhanda Live

8 – 18 July 2021


Information about what is being presented as part of 2021 Makhanda Live will be available through the website. We will not be producing a printed programme.

The website will allow you to search easily by date, artist or category. You will be able to download it onto your device to view or print at your leisure.

The full programme will be available on the 21st of June.

Udodana. Photo by Jan Potgieter


All tickets for 2021 National Arts Festival shows will be paperless. Tickets will be sent to patrons via email and can be printed out at home or be scanned directly from a mobile device at the venue.

Please note that irrespective of how tickets are booked, patrons will need to provide contact details to allow for COVID-19 contact tracing if necessary.

Online Bookings

You will be able to book tickets through the website for all the shows in Makhanda.  If you haven’t already registered on the website you can do that now by clicking HERE.

Bookings for Makhanda Live shows will open on the 21st of June



 We will have Box Offices at the Monument and at the Village Green. As part of our COVID precautions we will not be issuing physical tickets. Instead you will receive a virtual ticket via email which will be scanned at the door.

You will be able to print your tickets at home or they can be scanned straight from your mobile device.


Patrons will be able to purchase tickets at the door 15 min prior to the start of a performance.

Card facilities will be available at all our venues but we do urge patrons to pre-book for shows where possible.


The changes we have had to implement to make this year’s festival possible means that we are all Festival First Timers.

While the festival in Makhanda is much smaller than in previous years, you still need to plan carefully to get the most out of your time. Book your shows in advance, especially those on the Main programme, as these can sell out. Leave time to view exhibitions, visit the Village Green and fit in any extra shows on the Makhanda Live Fringe that are creating a buzz.

The Fringe is a hotbed of innovation and sees seasoned pros and feisty newcomers united in the spirit of expression. Factor time into your schedule to catch new shows and the unexpected hits that get everyone talking. Often these are the recipients of the coveted Standard Bank Ovation Awards, which are awarded from day one of the Festival.

Lost and Found. Photo by Mark Wessels
A Place of Knowing. Photo by Mark Wessels

It’s more important than ever to also leave yourself enough time between one show and another. As we manage safety in the ongoing pandemic, it may take longer than anticipated to enter a venue, so allow yourself some wiggle room.

Keep in mind that the weather in Makhanda changes with abandon. Don’t leave your accommodation without coats, scarves and gloves.

You will need to wear a mask at all times, and while there are sanitizer stations at all venues, we do recommend that you carry your own sanitizer as well.


The Eastern Cape is currently in its fifth year of drought which has put an enormous strain on the water supply in Makhanda. The municipality has put in place long-term solutions and maintenance of existing structures. In addition there is a water management plan in place to ensure equitable supply across the city.

We urge visitors to Makhanda to use water sparingly.

  • There is a restriction of 50l of water per person per day
  • Currently water is supplied on alternate days
  • There are multiple collection points and water vendors for manual distribution
  • Households and accommodation establishments are encouraged to use water sparingly and employ these basic water saving measures:
  • only flush when necessary,
  • harvest grey water wherever possible
  • shower instead of bathing
  • Most accommodation providers have a backup water supply and their own systems in place


Our web site will be updated  with the latest information should any details about performances change and all changes will be prominently displayed at the Booking Offices.  If you have downloaded a version of the programme to view offline make sure to check that you have the latest version and haven’t missed out on any updates.

Starting times are adhered to as strictly as possible but sometimes shows do run late  so make sure to leave time some time between your bookings. We regret that no refunds on tickets can be made for late arrivals.

If for any reason a show is cancelled, your tickets can exchanged for another performance of the same show or you will be refunded.

Refunds will not be done at the door and must be done through the box office or call center.

The Boat. Photo by Mark Wessels

Covid Compliance

After a significant and detailed risk assessment, we have received our risk classification in terms of the Safety at Sports and Recreation Events Act, allowing us to go ahead with a live festival in Makhanda as well as in selected cities throughout South Africa.

The Festival has well established protocols and policies in place, as well as experienced and dedicated team members to ensure Covid compliance.

While we have put multiple safety measures in place, it is crucial that everyone attending Festival Events works with us to ensure everyone’s safety.

  • Masks are mandatory at all venues including the the Village Green
  • Social distancing measures will be in place in all performance venues, galleries and public spaces
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available at all points of entry
  • The ticketing system will be used to contact trace patrons should it be necessary
  • Venue capacities will be strictly adhered to
  • All performance venues are well ventilated and will be sanitized between shows and rehearsals


Where to sleep, where to eat, where to play, how to get there, who to call – everything you could possibly need to know about visiting Makhanda at Festival time is in our 2021 Travel and Stay brochure. Detailed maps of Makhanda may be purchased at the Makana Tourism Office at 63 High Street.