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NAF | A Q&A to help you navigate the 2021 virtual National Arts Festival

  • The National Arts Festival is now open with its second fully online offering. 
  • With 239 shows, exhibitions, webinars and workshops on the programme, the festival can be a mission to navigate. 
  • With the hopes of adding warmth to the winter, this Q&A looks to make navigating the festival easier. How do I access the online National Arts Festival? 

    First things first, visit Once you are in, at the top right corner of the website click on the LOGIN button to enter into an existing account or to set up a new one.

    How do I know what is playing, when?

    The 2021 National Arts Festival is divided into three parts: the curated programme, VFringe, as well as the visual art and the festival’s virtual green.

    Is the Curated Programme the entire festival? 

    Well, almost. Running from 8 to 31 July 2021, the curated programme includes the following:

    • The Standard Bank Jazz Festival
    • Online webinars and workshops
    • Theatre for young audiences
    • Live stream offering
    • Video on Demand

    Here, audiences can stream live performances, sit in on zoom workshops, catch up on past performances or they can peruse exhibitions. While some shows are free, most shows are priced between R40 and R60 per experience.

    Each show has a page on the NAF website. To buy or reserve tickets for shows under the curated programme, visit the show’s page and click on the BUY NOW button. Once you click on this button, the event will be added to your basket.

    If you buy more than 5 tickets in one transaction, you will get 10% off the purchase. If you buy more than 10 tickets, you will get 20% off the purchase. If there too many shows that you are interested in, you can access all the content from the festival’s main programme by buying a full festival pass.

    What is VFringe, is part of the festival? 

    The Fringe programme blends innovation and originality as seasoned artists and newcomers come together to bring an uncurated programme of shows to your screens. Spanning music, comedy, theatre performances and virtual galleries, The Fringe is not to be disregarded. Like the main programme, each show on the Fringe has a page on the NAF website. These pages can be accessed by clicking on the VFringe button found on the NAF home page. To buy or reserve tickets for shows under the curated programme, visit the show’s page and click on the BUY NOW button. Once you click on this button, the event will be added to your basket. Tickets for The Fringe range from R25 to R60 a show. There is no limit to how many tickets you can buy. A full festival pass does not cover shows listed on the Fringe programme.

    Can you tell me about the Visual Art & The Virtual Green?

    Shop at the festival with access to the festival’s digital galleries and market stalls at absolutely no cost. The market stalls will be up and running soon.

    Until when can I watch shows? Is my Festival or Jazz Pass still valid?

    All events are available until 31 July 2020. Festival and Jazz Pass purchased prior to 16 July will have expired but you can purchase individual tickets to shows. You can also buy a Jazz Pass to watch all the events on the Standard Bank Jazz Festival programme.

    Once I’ve paid, how do I watch shows?

    Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive an email with a list of what you’ve booked. You can also see your shows on the My Show page (link in top menu). You need to be logged in to access this page. Click through to any event page to start watching. Scroll down to the video window and select the ‘play video’ icon, and it will play. You get a total of five views per show.

    My internet connection is slow. Can I reduce the quality of streamed video?

    Yes, you can: on the video player window, choose the settings icon (*) and select a lower-res option (just like on YouTube).

    How much data do I need to watch shows?

    We have tried as hard as possible to make our content as data-friendly as possible without compromising the work. As an estimate: one hour of streamed content would take 1 GB of data.

    Arts24 has partnered with the National Arts Festival to bring you exciting content before, during and after the 11-day festival. 

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