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Free – and fun! – things for families at the Festival

Published on 1 June 2019

The National Arts Festival presents great opportunities for families to introduce their children to all that the arts can offer. But we’re also aware that things can get expensive if you’re a family. Here are 10 things for families to enjoy at no cost at all.

SUNDOWNER CONCERTS: The ever-popular Sundowner Concerts at Fountain Foyer at the Monument are a fun – and free! – way to end the day. Artists give short previews of their shows – expect anything and everything from choral and music performances to stand-up comedy and skiets. Every day at 5pm. Get there early to secure a seat on the steps.

AMAZING STAGES: There are jaw-dropping performances by buskers every hour on the hour at the Village Green. These local and international street performers aim to entertain with swords, fire and high-jinks. Performances are free, but don’t forget something for the hat!

STORYTIME: Well-known actors read much-loved stories for children – all free of charge. Two sessions a day at 11am to 3pm, daily from 28 June to 5 July at St Andrew’s Prep.

CHILDREN’S CONCERT: The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra conducted by Lykele Temmingh will present this year’s Children’s Concert on 30 July at 1pm. The KZN Youth Orchestra, comprising talented young musicians from around KwaZulu-Natal, will showcase their different instruments in a fun and interactive way in the Fountain Foyer at the Monument. Entrance is free.

VISUAL ART: There’s no charge for admiring artists’ talent and passion at the many exhibitions being held in every nook and cranny of the City, with all exhibitions free to enter.

FINGO FESTIVAL: Held in Fingo Village, one of Makhanda’s oldest townships, the 10th Fingo Festival offers a unique programme of live performances, readings, workshops and exhibitions. It runs daily from 9am in Fingo Square. All events are free.

HIP HOP FESTIVAL: The Return of the Cypher Hip Hop Festival offers beat making sessions, live music sets and performances, readings, workshops and films. At the Black Power Station, Industrial Area. From 1 – 4 July. Check programme for daily line-up. All events are free.

CREATIVATE: The second-ever Creativate Digital Arts Festival will run for the full length of the Festival this year. With loads of fascinating and interactive events, it’s perfect for older children and teens. All Creativate exhibitions, talks and workshops are at Thomas Pringle Hall at the Monument. All are free, but tickets need to be reserved in advance.

CONCESSIONS, DISCOUNTED & FREE SHOWS: Many of the productions offer discounts for learners and students. There are also other specials available on some performances, ranging from 25% discount to completely free (although donations are encouraged). These are marked in colour in the Festival programme and on the website.

STREET PARADE: Join the colourful, joyful procession of stiltwalkers, dancers, puppeteers and others as a farewell parade winds its way through the streets of our City. Starts 11am on 6 July and at 12am on 7 July.

Main image: International street artists perform at the Village Green / Jan Potgieter