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Amanda Black, Ringo Madlingozi and Bongeziwe Mabandla to perform at live National Arts Festival 2022

Published on 18 May 2022

The National Arts Festival has announced exciting new additions to its 2022 programme with one night only concerts from Amanda BlackRingo Madlingozi and Bongeziwe Mabandla. The programme, already a feast of theatre, dance, music, jazz, visual art, comedy and more, is now live and open for booking at The countdown to the NAF’s return to live stages and its home town of Makhanda is well underway with the eleven day festival kicking off on 23 June 2022 and running until 3 July.

After two years of offering the country’s oldest and most diverse arts festival online, the arts community is looking forward to a real life reunion and the annual winter pilgrimage to the Eastern Cape. CEO Monica Newton says the Festival is looking forward to welcoming the return of the artists and visitors, as is the town of Makhanda, which has missed the R90 million annual boost the Festival has brought to its economy in years gone by.

“A lot has changed in the years since our last live Festival in 2019 and we are mindful that the economic situation in the country may have an impact on the number of visitors to this year’s Festival. We are heartened by the enthusiasm for the live Festival and bookings are starting to come in fast. One of the realities we, along with the performing arts community, face is the 50% capacity rule in our venues. This will mean fewer seats and fewer tickets as well as less revenue for artists and the Festival. It’s going to take a while for us all to get back to ‘normal’ but we are making a strong start,” says Newton.
Audiences await the start of a show at the National Arts Festival in 2019
A bird's eye view of the Sundowner Concert stage at NAF 2019
In addition to the 50% capacity COVID-19 legislation, the Festival has been designed to allow for more time between shows to ensure mask wearing and sanitising protocols are followed precisely. For the first time, ticketing will be paperless and all tickets bought on the Festival’s online ticket platform can be displayed on a phone or tablet to gain entry.
Festival favourites like the Village Green will be a lively meet-up space with plenty of crafters and food stalls, the popular free Sundowner Concerts will be a daily fixture. The Monument will be abuzz with shows, concerts and exhibitions as well as restaurants and kiosks. The recent upgrades, supported by the National Arts Council administered Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, have transformed the Power Station venue into a permanent home for creatives and performers. During the Festival, a selection of exhibitions will be happening at the new creative and entrepreneurial hub.
In 2020 and 2021, the Festival found a new online audience who supported from around the world. Those who won’t be making the trip this year will still be able to enjoy an online programme again with some of our shows live streamed from Makhanda as well as online shows created for virtual audiences to enjoy.

The full programme and ticket sales are available online at