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Pieces fall into place for reimagined Festival

Published on 29 May 2020

The Virtual National Arts Festival programme is slowly starting to emerge – it has been cocooned away as our Curatorial Committee got to grips with reimagining what this festival could become. Now, just short of 30 days before ‘lift-off’, we are starting to appreciate its complexities.

The Festival’s website is readying itself to become a virtual stage: all events will be accessed through the website portal – both curated work and un-selected ‘fringe’ events. Finding your way around vNAF will be a simple as following the breadcrumbs at the top of your screen, but here are some pointers to give you a head start. 

The Curated Programme is a schedule of events that will be released each day from 25 June to 5 July.  These daily programmes will consist of pre-recorded performances (theatre, music, dance), films, live broadcasts, visual art ‘walkabouts’, workshops, and more. These programmes have been carefully curated around a theme and the preamble to each day’s programme will provide the framework for that day’s offerings. 

Daily Programme passes will give the buyer access to all the events in the curated programme for that day. Live events will need to be watched on the day – but most content will be available for viewing at whatever time is most suitable to you, within an 11-day period from the date of release. If you just want to watch one event – you are welcome to buy a ticket to an individual event. There are super discounted bundles available for daily programme passes and other packages, including jazz – so keep an eye open for these when making your selections.

The Virtual Fringe Programme (vFringe) is a pay-per-view platform where anything goes! Well, almost. We will be carefully monitoring submissions to make sure they’re in line with universally accepted online presentation standards. But, that said, similarly to the Fringe in Makhanda, this is where you will find artists experimenting with their creative instincts – bending the rules to fit this new world. Here you’ll find comedy, performance art, cabaret, magic (of course) and lots more. Tickets will be priced from R25 and we hope you’ll support all our artists as they, together with you,  explore this new digital space.

vFringe Live is a noticeboard for artists that have events on the go on other platforms – FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube etc.  You’ll be able to click through to the event from our website but you’ll buy your tickets once you get to the presenting site.

Visual Artists will be hanging out at their online galleries at There’s no charge to visit any of the galleries – and you can get in touch with the artists and purchase or commission work directly from them. The Virtual Green sees crafters, creators and resellers pitching their digital stalls on our website walls. Find your favourite Festival slippers or hat and chat directly to the trader to make your deal.

  • Our newsletter moves into first gear next month as we prepare to launch what is going to be an astonishing Virtual National Arts Festival 2020 programme. Sign up here
  • Photo: John Hogg