Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2017

Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2017

Cuepix/Sithasolwazi Kentane

The best of local and international talent at this 11-day cultural festival.

The Grahamstown National Arts Festival is the largest cultural event in Africa. Since its launch in 1974 and throughout the 1980s, it served as an important forum for political and protest theatre during apartheid, and it still offers an opportunity for freedom of expression and experimentation across the arts spectrum. Each year, people from all over South Africa – and the world – flock to this charming university town for a feast of over 300 shows (on the Main Programme and The Fringe) that includes all kinds of artistic performances – form drama and cabaret to music recitals, concerts, poetry readings, opera, stand-up comedy, exhibitions, guided tours, and so much more.

Some of the performances we’re looking forward to seeing at the 2017 festival are:

  • Ben Voss and John van de Ruit’s Mamba Republic, a fast-paced satirical sketch-comedy that examines all that is wrong with South Africa.
  • Composer, musician and cultural activists Neo Muyanga (this year’s featured artist) explores the role of song within protests and revolts in Solid(t)ary.
  • A contemporary jazz and musical lineup that includes Jimmy Nevis, Desmond and the Tutus, and Opposite the Other.
  • A smorgasbord of dance recitals, including Vincent Mantsoe’s solo production KonKoriti, a re-imagining of an ancient song about pride, arrogance, physical power and selfishness.
  • The comedic stylings of Stephen K Amos all the way from the UK.
  • The 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist Monageng “Vice” Motshabi’s brand-new play Ankobia
  • The 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art, Beth Diane Armstrong’s in perpetuum which explores  scale, materiality, process and change. 

In between performances, enjoy some shopping at the Village Green, one of the many vibrant flea markets. The National Arts Festival Programme, which will be available on the official website, is a great resource.


29 June – 9 July 2017


046 603 1103


The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 20 May 2016

6 Responses to “Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2017”

  1. Boycie Ntungo

    I would love to be updated about closing event of the festival, when & who will be performing there please.

  2. sindile Twane

    Line up for the closing event please..

  3. nomfundo jantjies

    closing event festival performance,who are the artist ?

  4. Mzu Ngoloti

    Any real affordable accommodation! Moolah to tight to tight to mention 😉

    • Clare

      R400 a night in Bathurst, 44 km away. 2 people sharing. Self catering / meals by arrangement. Space for 2 extra people at R150 per night, each. One double and two single beds.

  5. bulelani

    i am motivated by how this has been the platform to every art to out shine. i am an artist also who would like to have an oppotunity to display my visual art in this year festival.


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