All the stars come out to play in Grahamstown soon after the Winter Solstice when the Tsimela/Pleiades rise, heralding the start of the New Year in Africa. As June ends, the little Eastern Cape city is transformed into one huge happening.
The pace quickens, the drums beat. Suddenly everything clicks and the National Arts Festival is underway. Drama, paintings, poetry, puppets, sculpture, crafts, cabaret, classics, new music, jazz, opera, comics, rock, dance, mime, talks, walks, parades and fairs.... It's exotic, it's erotic, it's a national phenomenon of the Arts. One of the largest events of its kind in Africa.
Grahamstown provides a level playing field where classics roustabout with the avant-garde, and new talents square up to the established stars. During the Festival, it's the only game in town.
Sparks fly and audiences and performers share interchangeable roles. Drawn by the generous bring-and-share ethos, foreign markets offer their best, work with local artists and take home treasures from Africa's cultural trove. Pumping music, electrifying drama, bustling street life, killer craft-shopping … the only thing in short supply is shut-eye.
Throw yourself into the arty mêlée and release energies you didn't know you had.