Cape Town to Host New Arts Festival

Already well-established as a cultural hub in South Africa, Cape Town is adding a new arts festival to its annual events calendar this year. The inaugural Cape Town Fringe is set to take place at a number of venues around the Mother City and in Langa between the 25th of September and the 5th of October, 2014. Supported by the National Arts Festival and the City of Cape Town, the Cape Town Fringe is a spin-off of the long-running and immensely popular National Arts Festival held annually in July in Grahamstown. The festival aims to present up to forty productions focusing on dynamic and innovative work that ‘pushes the boundaries for both artists and audiences’, according to National Arts Festival chief executive Tony Lankester.

The Cape Town Fringe festival will be modeled on similar festivals taking place in major international cities, the biggest and most well-known of which is the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland’s capital city – where the concept originated. The Edinburgh Fringe was started soon after WWII by independent artists who felt excluded from the formal Edinburgh Festival and started staging performances in informal and unconventional settings. Today, the Edinburgh Fringe is a hugely popular annual event, attracting visitors to the city from all over the world.

With the Grahamstown National Arts Festival being the only event of its kind in South Africa, it was decided to develop a second festival to give independent artists and art companies the opportunity to present their original material to the public. Cape Town meets all the criteria for the proposed event, and with the support of the City Council, the Cape Town Fringe is very likely to become an established annual feature on the city’s social calendar.

With the emphasis on diversity, and in line with available venues, organizers will be selecting about forty acts from submitted proposals. Performances featured in the festival program will include theatre, music, dance, comedy and jazz with the focus on being fresh, bold, confident, socially aware and independent. If you are a supporter of the arts, be sure to catch the launch of the Cape Town Fringe.