Think!Fest in 2017 is not only about giving you food for thought – it’s also about inspiring your senses – including your taste buds.

For the first time, Think!Fest offers tastings as part of their menu – offering a first course of cherry peppers, jalapeños, patty pans and gourmet chutneys from Grahamstown’s Carara Agro; two main course beverages – a selection of craft beers from Featherstone Brewery and a trio of gins from the small batch craft distillery Hope on Hopkins; and dessert, paired with coffee, of course, from Chocolat! – a boutique chocolatier from Port Elizabeth. All tastings are accompanied by informative talks and take place in the informal, cosy atmosphere of the Monument’s restaurant and Yellowwood Terrace. Book is essential as the venue has limited capacity.

What I Learned From…

What I Learned From… is a new, fun aspect of Think!Fest. We’ve invited an eclectic mix of actors, scientists, journalists, academics, politicians, artists and regular ordinary folk to tell us their story in 5 minutes. The proviso is they must give us a story that has impacted their lives in some way… So, it could be anything from the lessons learned from adopting a child, to interviewing the president; testifying in a criminal trial; three years at university; my mother’s dementia diagnosis; and so on. From 30 June to 8 July, there’ll be at least three stories being told every day at 4pm in the Yellowwood Terrace. Come and join us for coffee and inspiring stories.

Music and knowledge

Combining music and knowledge is what the Listening Lounge has been all about over the past few years – headlined by walking music encyclopaedia (and sometimes labour lawyer), Richard Haslop. This year, he is joined by founding editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone (South Africa), Miles Keylock, whose musical musings can be found in GQ, the Mail & Guardian, and Obrigado Magazine. With topics as diverse as Keylock’s Home is where the music is(n’t) on South African jazz in exile and Haslop’s When I’m President, a topical, if irreverent, look at the songs that have chronicled the US presidency over the decades, it would be crazy to miss these listening sessions. Grab a glass of wine or a beer and relax for an hour away from the mayhem of Festival while you listen to an array of music you might – or might not have – heard before.

Discussion and debate

Also on Think!Fest are a plethora of more serious topics debated and defined by some very learned and distinguished people – Albie Sachs and Elinor Sisulu (state support of non-state organisations); climate change, adaptation, and alternative environmental futures (Sheona Shackleton, Tally Palmer, Bob and Mary Scholes , Marijke du Toit and Jenny Gordon); Fake News and Hate Speech (Verashni Pillay, Adriaan Basson and others chaired by Anthea Garman); the world of spies (Andrew Feinstein and Jonathan Ancer); Land Reform (Tracey Randle, Mnqobi Ngubane, Glenn Farred and Stha Yeni); Radicalism and Transformation (presented by Rhodes University); and more – much more.

Think!Fest has moved…

Lectures and debates will take place this year in our new hub on the 2nd floor of the Monument – the Ntsikana Room and the Yellowwood Terrace. There’s a coffee shop, books, art works, couches and conversation corners, podcasts, wifi and… a great view!

  • You can buy tickets to all Think!Fest events on this website or via our National Arts Festival app