Heading to the National Arts Festival? Locals share some insider tips

2017-06-01 19:00
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - This year's National Arts Festival 'Window into the Soul' programme will take place in Grahamstown from 29 June to 9 July. 

Here a few Grahamstown residents and experienced festival-goers share their inside tips on making the most out of #NAF17. 

Planning on going: See full details here: What you need to know about #NAF17

Mary Birt has not missed a single Festival since its inception in 1974

Don’t book too many shows in advance, but do buy tickets for the big Main events. Fill up your schedule by talking to people for recommendations. Late-night music is a good way to end the day.
Climb onto one of the free Festival Hoppers –  just leave the driver a tip. Walking tours will give you a good sense of the town.
As happens anywhere at crowded events, your security can be compromised, so look after your bag and other belongings.
Enjoy all that little old Grahamstown has to offer during Festival. We always do our best to make you very welcome!

Yandisa Sobahle is a Journalism and Media Studies Masters candidate at Rhodes University

The Rat and Parrot remains the favourite pub for many. Saints Bistro is chilled and the food is excellent. If you are after a chilled township environment then Mfana's is the place to try.
Follow the Festival’s social media channels and the hashtag #NAF17 for updates.
Bring something warm – Grahamstown can be freezing. Don’t forget a raincoat and umbrella.
Secure your accommodation on time. It’s a good idea to get a recommendation.
There’s lots on offer for coffee lovers – Handmade Coffee, Madhatters and Homeground.

Carissa Govender has four Festivals under her belt

Do everything – or as much as time and budget will allow. Some things only come around once and you will regret missing that one show everyone else raves about.
Challenge yourself to see at least one show from every genre. You’ll either be pleasantly surprised, or leave wondering what you’ve just watched.
Support street artists, connect with inspiring thinkers at Think!Fest, eat something you’ve never tried before (the Hare Krishna's chickpea fudge is a must), let your inner child delight in the funfair at Fiddlers Green, and support the Church Square vendors. Last year I picked up a pure wool coat for just R90.

Busi Tshabalala, lover of all performing arts, is based in Johannesburg

Respect Grahamstown weather. Always carry something warm with you no matter how "hot" it may seem.
Take the time to go through the Festival programme. Look out for the free and discounted shows, and read up on shows you ordinarily wouldn't attend.
Don't neglect Fingo Festival. It's bright, it's vibrant, and it's authentic.

What to read next on Traveller24: 

Uber adds safety insurance and claims partner protection to all rides in SA

- That time a crazy driver saved my life...

Aviation price index: Is this the secret to cheap travel, as SA ranks 11th for cheap flights?