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Ticket info: How, where and when to book

Published on 30 April 2018

The countdown to this year’s National Arts Festival has truly begun, with full bookings opening nationwide on 7 May. Here’s our quickstart guide to booking tickets – how to pay for them, where to pick them up from, and even a few tips on saving a few bucks…

How to book

Once you have browsed the programme and decided what you’d like to see, you have several booking options:

ONLINE: If you haven’t booked online before, you will need to register. We only need your name and phone number (and never share your details with anyone). Choose the event you want to book for, select the performance and follow the instructions on-screen to add tickets to your basket. You can pay by credit card (Visa, Mastercard), instant EFT or SnapScan. All bookings are 100% secure. Please note: You have 30 minutes to pay for your tickets from the time they are added to your basket. If you do not complete your transaction within that time, the tickets will be placed back on sale.

  • Note: There is a R2 booking fee per transaction when buying tickets online. 

CALL CENTRE: Contact the Festival Call Centre and book your tickets with one of our trained Box Office operators. You may pay by credit card, make an EFT or direct deposit.

EMAIL OR FAX: Send us an email or fax us on 086 233 2122 with all the details, including your telephone number. (There’s also a booking form available in the printed copy of the programme.) Once your booking has been made, your reservation will be emailed to you. You must provide us with proof of payment within 48 hours.

GROUP BOOKINGS? Contact the Box Office Manager on 046 603 1186 / 1163 or email your bookings to

Getting your tickets

PRINT AT HOME: If you have booked online, select ‘Print at Home’ to print out your tickets. The bar code on these tickets will be scanned at venues. Note that each ticket will only admit one person once.

  • You are NOT obliged to print your tickets at home – you can also collect your tickets from any of our Box Offices.
  • If you have booked a large number of tickets, we recommend that you have them pre-printed by the Box Office and collect them from the Monument on your arrival in Grahamstown. Please email to arrange this.

COLLECTIONS: Tickets for online bookings can be collected at any of the Box Offices in Grahamstown – just bring along the credit card you used to make the booking and swipe it at any of the self-service kiosks.

Artbucks members can simply swipe their Artbucks cards at any of the self-service kiosks in Grahamstown – no need to wait in long queues! Join Artbucks 

Pre-booked tickets – ie those booked via email, fax or through the Call Centre – must be collected from the COLLECTIONS desk at the Monument Box Office. If you paid by EFT, please bring along your confirmation email and hand it to a cashier 

Online EFT customers should bring their emailed confirmation along to any of the Box Offices in Grahamstown, and give it to a cashier at any of the Box Offices to have your tickets printed out.

COURIER SERVICE:  School and touring groups can request that their tickets are couriered to them before the start of the Festival. Courier charges will be R180 per delivery. Please enquire when making your booking about this option.

Contact us

  • Call Centre 0860 002 004
  • Box Office Manager 046 603 1186
  • Festival Manager 046 603 1163
  • General Festival Enquiries 046 603 1103
  • Fax 086 233 2122

Grahamstown Box Offices


  • From 7 May: Mon to Fri 08:30 –18:00 daily |  Sat 09:00 – 13:00
  • From 27 June: 08:30 – 19:15 daily

VILLAGE GREEN BOX OFFICE   at Vicky’s, Victoria Girls’ High School

  • From 28 June: 09:00 – 18:00 daily

RHODES THEATRE BOX OFFICE – servicing the Rhodes Theatre and Box Theatre only

  • From 28 June: 09:00 – 20:30 daily

Tickets at the door

Tickets, if still available, may be purchased half an hour prior to performance starting times at all venues. CASH purchases only. No discounts are available at the door.


Wheelchairs, guide-dogs, crutches etc. can be accommodated in most venues but we would need to be notified if special assistance is required at any of our venues. Please contact the Box Office Manager on telephone 046 603 1186 or 0860 002 004, who will discuss your requirements and arrange assistance for you where necessary.


  • Refunds for Main and Fringe events will be made only in the event of programme alterations or cancellations. The National Arts Festival cannot make other refunds or undertake to resell or exchange tickets.
  • The Festival organisers cannot be held responsible if a production runs longer than the advertised duration. This information is supplied by the performers and is published as a guide. Allow at least 50 minutes between performances.
  • We regret that we do not refund tickets for late arrivals at performances.


The following discounts are made available to selected Main and Fringe events – where available, discounts are indicated in the Festival Programme alongside the ticket price for each production.

  • CONCESSIONS – This discount is available to Students (with a valid student card), learners and children (proof of age or school may be required) and pensioners (65 years and older – ID may be required)
  • GROUPS – Groups of 10 OR MORE seats per performance may be booked at the discounted rate (please mark appropriate price column).
  • 2-for-1 TICKETS – These discounts have been offered by some Fringe producers on some performances. To qualify, you must book at least two full-price tickets to the performance and you will only be charged for one. Any multiple of two will qualify – i.e. if you book 7 tickets you will be charged for 6 tickets at half price and 1 ticket at full price. So why not bring a friend! Discount will be applied at checkout.
  • 50% FRINGE and FREE FRINGE – These are date-specific discounts offered by Fringe producers. Where productions are free, you should still book a ticket to ensure that you will be able to get into the performance. For performances on the Free Fringe, donations will be encouraged in lieu of a ticket price – please donate generously! Discount will be applied at checkout.

Half Price Hut

A limited number of tickets are made available to selected performances on a daily basis at half the full price. Half Price Hut tickets are announced the day before they go on sale and you can only purchase Half Price Hut tickets for performances on the day of purchase. These tickets are ONLY available at the Half Price Hut on the Village Green. Watch our social media feeds for the daily list of eligible performances. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

  • Where is it? The Half Price Hut caravan will be at Village Green from 28 June. Open 9:00 to 17:00


Members of the Festival’s Artbucks loyalty programme should confirm with their cashier that their Artbucks membership is recorded when they make their booking. Alternatively, they should give the cashier their Artbucks card when booking. At the end of the Festival the amount of credit due to the member, as per the rules of the programme, will be calculated.

  • NB: Artbucks credit is only allocated on full price tickets – tickets purchased at concession prices, special offers etc. do not qualify for the Artbucks credit.

Credit that has been accumulated by Artbucks members for purchases at the 2017 Festival, can be deducted from the amount due for their 2018 Festival purchases. Artbucks members may use their credit vouchers online or in person at the Box Offices. Please remember to inform the cashier that you would like to use your credit. You will receive an email indicating the credit that has been allocated to you shortly before preferential ticket bookings open. For online Artbucks purchases, you need to use the voucher code indicated in this email.

  • Join Artbucks online and qualify for credit vouchers equal to 10% of your spend on full price tickets to 2018 Festival events for use at the 2019 National Arts Festival.