• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Grahamstown National Arts Festival

Send to Kindle
Grahamstown Arts Festival

Grahamstown Arts Festival

At any other time of year, the little university town of Grahamstown, just 90 minutes from Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, is a quiet hub of students and families going about their daily lives. However, come June / July, this peaceful retreat suddenly erupts into a hive of excitement and activity for the annual Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Visitors from all over the country, and the world, make their way to this artistic epicentre to be a part of the festivities.

The National Arts Festival is organised by the Grahamstown Foundation and has been recognised as the most extensive cultural event on the continent. Much of its success is owed to the fact that it implements a fascinating fusion of local and international arts, crafts and performances. This gives it a multi-faceted allure that appeals to young and old, art enthusiasts and holiday-makers from South Africa and abroad.

For the entire 15-day duration of the festival, the more than 500 music and dance performances are, undoubtedly, the largest draw-card for visitors to Grahamstown during this time. Shows range from ballet, jazz and opera to stand-up comedy, interpretive dance, cabaret, folk music and parody. Every available space in the town is turned into a venue for such performances, just to accommodate the top-notch art forms being showcased.

Grahamstown Arts Festival

Grahamstown Arts Festival

While art, in its many forms, is certainly the focus of this event, the streets and town centres are also flooded with thousands of stalls. At these, visitors will find an endless variety of food, jewellery, clothing, accessories, curios, décor items, beauty products, and so on. The stalls and all of the people milling around and admiring the goods for sale create an unforgettable vibe.

For those planning their trip to Grahamstown for the next National Arts Festival, it is imperative to get the full schedule of events well ahead of time and to make the necessary bookings. Do not leave it too late, since tickets are sold fast and you certainly do not want to miss out.

There are several events for visitors to enjoy free of charge; including the daily Sundowner Concert, street theatre performances and formal art exhibitions. With these shows constantly on the go, the ambience retains an indescribable buzz.

Winters in and around Grahamstown can become extremely chilly. So, visitors to the Arts Festival are urged to bring plenty of warm gear and comfy closed shoes in which to peruse this historical hub.

Useful Links:
Grahamstown National Arts Festival
More Information and dates: Grahamstown National Arts Festival
Overnight: Grahamstown accom­mod­a­tion
Eastern Cape Accommodation
Eastern Cape Hotels
Eastern Cape Events

Amelia Meyer

About 

Amelia is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for all things travel-related. She is based in Knysna, but has studied, lived and travelled further afield. She studied Film, Media and Literature at the University of Cape Town. She began her solo career in the form of Voxate Writing & Editing in 2008 and loves every minute of it. Amelia believes in silver linings, lessons learnt and the responsibility to do what’s right. When she is not writing, she can frequently be found at the local animal shelter, on the bicycle trails of the nature reserves or sampling new restaurants with her family.

Related Posts: