have reached out to local businesses to source products and services, but we know that it cannot replace the income lost from thousands of visitors flocking to the city and the pride it engenders to see so many happy customers on our streets.
We are pleased that some of our local artists are featuring on the programme, and online audiences will definitely benefit from their creativity and innovation, but this cannot replace the opportunities to showcase their work and generate income from the Festival.
What does offer a glimmer of hope, is that the online experience means that audiences from across the world are joining us in their numbers to experience this one-of-a-kind Festival from phones, laptops or other devices, everywhere from Norway to Mexico and Nigeria to London.
It will not be the same as enjoying the experience of the Festival with live audiences from but we hope that they will be inspired to visit us when we are safe to travel and gather again and we believe that the online Festival will give us all a great boost in terms of marketing this national treasure well beyond our borders.
The Festival team who would usually be building venues are building a website – site scaffolding instead of set-building. Where they would normally be welcoming artists with warm hugs of reunion, they are now spending hours in video conferences. While we are all working at full tilt to deliver our online programme, there is a sadness that we all carry. It is just not the same without you and our live audience!
The National Arts Festival is an organisation that revels in live events and loves audiences; we will make sure that the Festival is back where it belongs in Makhanda in 2021.
We hope to see you at www.nationalartsfestival.co.za for the online experience.