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Open Call for Expressions of Interest for National Arts Festival 2021

Open Call for Expressions of Interest for National Arts Festival 2021

Much about 2021 is still unknown but we have set our sights on a hybrid Festival in July 2021. This means there will be a live physical Festival in Makhanda and a virtual online element as there was in 2020. 

The live 2021 Festival is likely to be smaller but we are looking forward to presenting an intimate and focused event that will ensure that both audiences and artists enjoy good value and have the opportunity to safely participate in our multidisciplinary live and online programmes. 

Opening a call when there is so much uncertainty about the trajectory of the Coronavirus and what our economic, social and cultural situation may be in 2021 is complicated. It’s challenging for us and it’s challenging for you; but we believe (and hope you agree) that presenting the National Arts Festival next year is important for all of us, regardless of the hurdles we may face. 

How it works

There are two forms and two processes; one for General and one for the Fringe. 

An Expression of Interest General Form needs to be submitted for work intended for platforms other than Fringe. This call is now open and will close on 20 December 2020.

An Expression of Interest Fringe Form will go live when we open the call for Expressions of Interest Fringe on 25 January 2021 (closes 21 February 2021).


For work, whether live or digital, that would normally be submitted for the following programmes:

Main Programme
The Arena Programme
The Student Theatre Festival

The call is open for already made works, works in progress or concepts for works

Please submit a separate form for each work you want to propose

Please submit the required Expression of Interest General Form by 23h59 (CAT) on 20 December 2020.

For more information watch the recorded information Webinar hosted by the Festival team

30 November 14h00 –  Expressions of Interest General Information Webinar

If you have any queries please contact us at


The vFringe platform continues to be active and available to artists wanting to present work immediately.

For more information contact