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We answer your frequently asked questions about #NAF2015

Published on 19 May 2015

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][FESTIVAL NOTICE] It’s less than two months to go before the curtain rises on this year’s National Arts Festival. To help you make the most of your #NAF2015 experience, we’ve put together a short guide to some of your most commonly asked questions. If there’s something else you need an answer to, let us know in the comments below.

1. We heard you announced your programme – where can we see it?

The Festival will be staging around 700 productions this year, which runs for 11 days (from 2 to 12 July). As it is not possible to list every single production and do the whole programme justice at the launch, what we announced on 17 March was just a taste of some of the features and highlights on our Main programme. We will release more details as we delve deeper into some of the genres and the massive Fringe programme over build-up to the Festival.

The full, complete programme is searchable on the website, or downloadable as a free PDF [21.8MB].

The programme is also a published hard copy book that is available free at selected Standard Bank and Exclusive Books branches – see the full list here

2. OK, so when and how can we book?

Booking opened on 4 May and all shows can be booked via Search and Book page or in person at our Grahamstown Box Office at the Monument. 

You can also book through the ticketing call centre on 0860 002 004. We accept faxed bookings on 086 233 2122 and by email to You can also book using our iPhone and Android app.

Note: We only accept credit card transactions (Visa and Mastercard) on the website. If you wish to pay by EFT, you need to book through our call centre, by fax or email – but we can’t confirm your booking until the money is in our account and, at that stage, if tickets are still available. 

Bookings cannot be done through Computicket, Webtickets or any other vendor.

3. How do I get my tickets?

Once you’ve booked your tickets, you will receive email confirmation with a transaction reference number AND a customer reference number. 

If you live in Grahamstown, you can collect your tickets from our box office at the Monument by producing the credit card you used to buy the tickets and your ID. If your tickets have been booked using someone else’s credit card, make a note of your transaction and customer reference numbers – the tellers will use these to locate your tickets.

If you don’t live in Grahamstown, you will be able to collect your tickets from (any of) the box offices when you arrive. As long as they are booked and paid for, and you have an email confirmation to that effect, your tickets will be safely reserved for you.

4. I joined something called ‘Artbucks’ last year – what does it mean and do I get special treatment?

It means we love you the most….and to show you how much, we will send you a voucher by email which gives you a discount on all your 2015 tickets that is equivalent to 5% of the value of whatever you spent in 2014.

If you want to become an Artbucks member, simply check the box when you register as a user on the site.

5. What if I buy tickets but can’t make it to Grahamstown? Do I get a refund?

We do not offer refunds except in instances where a show has been cancelled or where the date or time has been changed and the ticket holder can no longer attend.

And, before you ask, you can’t get a refund if you are late for a show and get turned away at the door. We operate a very strict “no entry after the show has started” policy so as not to disrupt other patrons’ enjoyment, and so that our artists get shown the maximum respect for their work. Every year we get some sad and rather cross people demanding refunds – but we print “No entry after start” on the ticket because we mean it….Sorry, but may we buy you a drink since you seem to have some time to kill?

6. Can I buy a whole lot of tickets and re-sell them at a higher price?

No. That’s called scalping and, apart from making it difficult for genuine festivalgoers to get tickets, it’s illegal. If you are caught doing that – and you will be caught – the tickets you are selling will be nullified and you will have a lot of angry people looking for you. And we will help them find you. Play fair. 

If you get offered tickets by an unofficial source, don’t buy them because you will probably not be allowed into the venue.

7. That sounds kind of harsh.

Yes – and we’re okay with that. Tickets are the main Festival currency and are the lifeblood of the hundreds of artists who come and perform at the Festival. Don’t mess with them.

8. Can I buy tickets at the door of the venue?

Yes, but tickets for each performance are only available at the door an hour beforehand, provided the show isn’t already sold out.

9. Does ‘sold out’ really mean sold out? If I hang around at the venue, is there a chance I will get in?

We have very strict capacity restrictions on our venues, for health and safety reasons, and so if we say a show is sold out it is extremely unlikely we will be able to increase the capacity.  Occasionally customers will come to the door with an extra ticket for someone who couldn’t make it, and will ask us to sell it on their behalf. If the show is sold out, we don’t mind doing that to give as many people as possible a chance to see the show.

On the Main Festival programme we are seldom able to add extra performances because our venues are scheduled pretty heavily. If there is massive demand for extra performances, and we are able to accommodate them and if the artist is amenable to it, we will do our best to add one on.

10. Are seats reserved or is it a free-for-all?

Seats are reserved in two of our venues – Rhodes Theatre and the Guy Butler Theatre. In Victoria Theatre, you buy a ticket for either downstairs or upstairs on the balcony. All other venues are unreserved and seats are filled on a first-come first-served basis.

11. How quickly do shows sell out?

Some shows, very quickly. This year we expect the following Main productions to sell faster than most: Dylan Moran, Ray Phiri, the Ballet, the Gala Concert, Thandiswa Mazwai, MiCasa and the Very Big Comedy Show III. Productions being presented by the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners generally sell very fast too.

On the Fringe, some shows will sell out long before Festival starts, but Fringe productions generally have more performances than Main productions so you are more likely to be able to see the show at a different time.

12. How can I find out what’s hot?

We’ll be posting updates as well as tricks and tips on our website. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page, and to follow us on Twitter @artsfestival and Instagram @nationalartsfestival.