• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

First ever virtual National Arts Festival for 2020


New CEO for the National Arts Festival, Monica Newton, brings a creative edge to festival administration.

Following the nationwide cancellation of all big events due to the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the National Arts Festival has decided to do something bold, that has never done before; go virtual.


“From 25 June to 5 July 2020, the National Arts Festival will be going completely virtual for the full 11 days of amazing. Going virtual will mean that the Festival can continue to support artists and the arts in 2020, by presenting work within a digital space. This way we can share some magic and hope with those who may still be confined to their homes. An opportunity to connect when we are being asked to distance ourselves from one another,” said the new Chief Executive Officer Monica Newton.

She added that artists depend on festivals to generate an income through selling tickets, getting their work seen and talked about locally and internationally, and networking with their peers.


There are just over 100 days to the festival and the CEO is confident that the 2020 National Arts Festival will go down in history as the first-ever virtual edition. More details will be shared in the next few weeks.


“We are engaging with our sponsors and donors, the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, Standard Bank of South Africa, the Department of Arts and Culture, Distell and Multichoice regarding our plans. Our commitment to the arts remains steadfast and we invite you to take this journey with us,” said Newtown.

They will also be engaging directly to all artists and traders who are currently registered to participate in the 2020 Festival.

The Science Festival Africa will be postponed to September 9 to 15, 2020.

The Eastern Cape Schools Festival will similarly be postponed to September 2020.

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