Virtual National Arts Festival 2020 to start The Virtual National Arts Festival 2020 will start on 25 June and run online for 11 days, with a programme that already includes some 250 shows. More will be added as Fringe entrants are submitted. From experimental dance to music collaborations, jazz to story-telling, art exhibitions to craft displays, it’s all there.

Says Virtual National Arts Festival Artistic Director Rucera Seethal, “We’re seeing the Festival come together. Work that started as ideas, turned into discussions and are now full pieces are being uploaded to the Festival website We now have an online festival reflecting artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. I am anxious to share it with audiences and see this next chapter begin.”

The programme will take place entirely on the Festival website and will consist of a daily Curated Programme of shows, workshops and events; and a special Virtual Fringe section with multiple performances to choose from and links to shows happening outside of the Festival’s secure environment.

Virtual National Arts Festival 2020 to start

Virtual National Arts Festival 2020 tickets and special passes

Audiences will be able to buy passes from R 80 per day with a special price of R600 for an all-access pass for the entire 11 days. Virtual Fringe events will be individually ticketed and there will be a free-to-browse Virtual Gallery area as well as a Virtual Village Green where Festival-goers can browse crafts and handmade wares. The Standard Bank Jazz Festival remains an integral part of the Festival experience in the online iteration too.

Says CEO Monica Newton, “The Virtual National Arts Festival won’t replace the live Festival experience and we will return to our home in Makhanda as soon as we are safely able to, but this year of unexpected challenges has also brought us an extraordinary opportunity to experiment with new forms. We are also able to bring the National Arts Festival to audiences at home and abroad who may not otherwise have been able to attend the live experience.”

The first set of shows was announced by the Festival on the 10 June and new shows have since been added to the programme. There are around 250 shows currently – a number that continues to grow as more Virtual Fringe shows are submitted.

What: Virtual National Arts Festival 2020

Where and when: 25 June to 5 July 2020 at

Programme: Here

How to buy tickets and watch: Here