National Arts Festival ready t

Daneel van der Walt in Dani and the Lion – on the National Lottery Fringe Cabaret programme.

National Arts Festival ready to rock your boots

Arts aficionados, I hope you have your comfy boots ready for the journey you’re about to embark on as the 42nd National Arts Festival officially begins today.

National Arts Festival ready t

Daneel van der Walt in Dani and the Lion – on the National Lottery Fringe Cabaret programme.

The eleven-day festival will be packed with activities of over 600 productions that will be staged in a variety of theatres and inventive venues.

There’s a lot that will be happening and you won’t be able to see everything (unless you’re superman) but the Festival’s CEO, Tony Lankester, said politics, identity, the quest for change and healing are at the forefront of this year’s works.

“That said, I think there is urgency, anger, lots of frustration and yet a lot of hope among South African artists, and all of that will come through in hundreds of little ways on the programme.”

Although the industry is not doing badly, Lankester said it’s important for artists to take commercial control of their careers now more than ever.

“Secondly, the arts industry is in a funding crisis. Not because there isn’t money for the arts – there is. But because artists don’t know how to ask for it and how to give funders what they are looking for in exchange.”

He added that the future looks bright for the industry and the festival in its entirety all because of the strong audience support and funding.

“We’re now looking at how we can make sustainability second nature for us, and how we can keep innovating to keep improving what we do for audiences and artists.”

Productions that will be ‘lit’ include The Firebird produced by Janni Younge and choreographed by Jay Pather, The Inconvenience of Wings of featured artist Lara Foot, Scorched by Jade Bowers’, Sold by Themba Mbuli and of course your other personal faves.

Music lovers can look forward to Ringo Madlingozi, AKA, Siya Makhuzeni, Simphiwe Dana, Prime Circle, Guy Buttery, the Muffinz and Chris Chameleon.

For those who love cracking up over jokes made by SA’s best comedians will be spoilt with the Very Big Comedy Show and Love Factually by Alan Committie.

So, if you’re not flying or driving down to Grams, it’s late for you.

But it’s ok though, there’s always a next time and the bonus of living at a time of incredible technology, you have the ability to cyber-attend the Festival.

With that said, get your hands busy with social media and you will feel like you’re physically there.

The official hashtag is #NAF16.