The Main Programme
The Main Programme comprises work contracted by the National Arts Festival each year. We put out an annual call for proposals, and the deadline for submission is usually around August each year for the following Festival. You’ll find the Call for Proposals document in the Artist Zone section of our website, where we lay out very clear guidelines for submissions.
As part of your submission you need to include a detailed budget. Based on that, and the strength of the proposal, your production may get selected and an offer will be made to you. If you accept the offer, we cover all the costs of staging your show in Grahamstown and you earn the agreed fee as per your budget. All the ticket sales revenue comes to us, except for 10% that goes to cover ticketing commissions and expenses.
Then there is the Fringe, which is a completely open-access programme. Anyone can perform on the Fringe just by filling in a form and paying a registration fee, which includes a refundable venue rental deposit. The venue rental is per performance, and varies depending on the size of the venue. So, in essence, you come to Grahamstown, market and stage your show, and leave with about 80% of the box office (10% goes to the Festival, and 10% goes toward ticketing costs and commissions).
Fringe registration is open each year during October, and you have about four months to get your forms in to us.
If you’re serious about taking part in the Fringe, we suggest you pop along to the Artist Zone and read our various guides, which include loads of useful and important information.
Finally, in between the Fringe and the Main, is the Arena. This is where we showcase work from productions and companies who have won either a Standard Bank Ovation Award on the Fringe, or an international award at one of our partner festivals. If you win such an award you can submit a proposal for the next year’s Arena. The deal here is midway between the Fringe and Main – we cover some costs (transport, accommodation, per diems, registration, venue hire and some of the marketing costs etc), but we don’t contribute to the production itself. The Festival and the company then split the box office, after the ticketing commission, 60% to the company, 40% to the Festival.