New format for Cape Town Fringe 2017

Organised by the same team that puts together the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown every year, the Cape Town Fringe will be back in the Mother City from 21 September to 8 October 2017 in a brand new format.

According to Cape Town-born Executive Producer, Ashraf Johaardien, this year’s Festival will not be based at City Hall. “Part of the ethos of Fringe Festivals across the world has been the creation of platforms and opportunities for artists who have been relegated to the margins. We will have a hub elsewhere in the City Centre but the focus of the 2017 Festival will be on partnering with existing spaces across the Peninsula as well as supporting and nurturing new spaces that have relevance and resonance in the communities where they have emerged. So this year both venues and artists are invited to apply.” he announced.

 “We are focusing on building a ‘Cape Town Fringe Circuit’,” explained Festival CEO Tony Lankester. ‘We’ve been going for three years and the Cape Town Fringe has made its mark on the City’s arts calendar. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved. Thousands of performers and tens of thousands of audience members have enjoyed what the Fringe has offered. However, across the City, there are venues, theatres, performers, and communities who are battling to find their way into the ‘mainstream’ and, often against enormous odds, are still managing to bring stages to life with great art. So this year we want to work with new theatre makers and spaces to amplify their platforms and the work they are putting on them.”  

Productions in all genres of performance are eligible for consideration. Preference will be given to smaller and medium-sized works that are able to tour to venues on the planned Cape Town Fringe circuit. Work should be bold, compelling unconventional, socially aware and relevant.

Successful productions will be programmed into venues selected for participation and the Cape Town Fringe team will also work with successful venues to programme from their own networks and/or from the open call for expressions of interest.

Cape Town venue owners, production companies, collectives and individual theatre-makers are invited to register expressions of interest online at

The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2017.  The Cape Town Fringe will provide overall Festival marketing and produce the works selected.

For more information please visit: or e-mail


Released by Rabbit in a Hat Communications 

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About National Arts Festival

The National Arts Festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent.

The 2017 National Arts Festival runs for 11 days from 29 June - 9 July and is held in the small university city of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, 130 km from Port Elizabeth.

The Festival consists of a Main and Fringe programme both administered by the National Arts Festival Office. The full programme comprises drama, dance, physical theatre, comedy, opera, music, jazz, visual art exhibitions, film, student theatre, street theatre, lectures, craft fair, workshops, tours (of the city and surrounding historic places) and a children’s arts festival.

The event has always been open to all regardless of race, colour, sex or creed. As no censorship or artistic restraint has ever been imposed on works presented in Grahamstown, the Festival served as an important forum for political and protest theatre during the height of the apartheid era, and it still offers an opportunity for experimentation across the arts spectrum. Its significance as a forum for new ideas and an indicator of future trends in the arts cannot be underestimated.

The National Arts Festival is grateful to the Department of Arts and Culture, Eastern Cape Provincial Government, M-Net and Standard Bank of South Africa.

National Arts Festival
National Arts Festival
PO Box 304
Grahamstown, Ec 6140
South Africa