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Festivals within the festival Print E-mail
02 August 2011

There will be much to see and do in September, with 12 smaller festivals running under the umbrella of Arts Alive, the mega, month-long annual knees up.

A DOZEN festivals within a festival will be running concurrently with the massive annual Joburg Arts Alive International Festival, together offering a feast of arts and culture during September, much of it free.


Drama for Life runs at Wits
Drama for Life runs for a week at Wits
JT Communication Solutions, Arts Alive’s public relations company, says: “Joburg’s residents have no excuse for not getting out and about in their beautiful city during spring with the many ‘festivals within a festival’ that form part of the 2011 Joburg Arts Alive International Festival.”


First up is the innovative CIT:Y Festival, running from 25 August to 30 September at Museum Africa in Newtown. CIT:Y is a platform for creative arts students to show their work to the public.

In turn, the public can bone up on young Joburg talent. A major part of CIT:Y is the bursaries, which are awarded to winning students in various categories. The cash is for further study in the arts.

This project is an initiative of the City’s department of arts, culture and heritage, which also manages Arts Alive. CIT:Y’s exhibition is to include work in the fields of graphic and textile design, visual art, photography and animation.

From 31 August to 9 September, Drama For Life’s Sexual Activity runs at Wits University and other venues across the city. In this festival, drama, performance workshops are used to explore this compelling topic.

Wine festival
For something completely different but no less appealing, the seventh annual Soweto Wine Festival is on at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus from 1 to 3 September.

Over 950 wines from top wineries are signed up for sampling and sale at the festival, which is expected to attract more than 8 000 visitors. Tickets are R100 a night and R280 for a three-night pass.


Soweto Wine Festival is popular
The Soweto Wine Festival attracts scores of people each year
From 1 to 4 September, it is the turn of the highly acclaimed South African Tattoo, at the Outdoor Arena at Montecasino. Top international performers, including the Lochiel Marching Drill Team from New Zealand, are performing alongside local artists, including the Code Red Drum Corps.


Tickets range from R158 to R348 and are available through Computicket.

At the Hillbrow Theatre, the seventh annual Inner City Drama Festival takes place from 5 to 10 September. Plays are performed by 17 schools, with the theme of how the youth can be the instigators for positive change.

Performances are free of charge. The festival was established to promote drama in inner city high schools and to contribute to building positive attitudes in the inner city community.

969 Festival
And then there is the annual 969 Festival, taking place at the Wits Theatre stages from 10 to 25 September. Taking its name from the distance between Grahamstown and Johannesburg, at 969 productions from the National Arts Festival are performed in Joburg. Tickets are priced at R60.

The Streetpop Festival runs at G-Spot in Mofolo Village, Soweto on 17 September. It offers Joburg’s youth the space to embrace eclectic and new urban cultures.


Schools will battle it out in the Shakespeare Schools Festival
Another youth oriented festival is the Shakespeare Schools Festival, on at the Joburg Theatre Complex’s Fringe on 17 and 18 September. Performances are to be staged in partnership with EduCape SA.


The Shakespeare Schools Festival features shortened, 30-minute versions of Shakespearean plays performed by high schools in a non-competitive, supportive and celebratory event. Tickets are R50 from the Joburg Theatre or by calling 0861 670 670.

From 22 to 24 September, it is the turn of the Hillbrow Peace Festival. Events in this festival are free. It aims to bring together the many communities living in the area to explore their cultural diversity and promote peace.

Soweto Festival
Over on the other side of Jozi, the Soweto Festival runs on 23 and 24 September, featuring an Arts Alive showcase on the last day from 4pm to 10pm. Tickets are priced between R10 and R30.

The festival is expected to offer visitors art, performance, stand-up comedy, poetry, story-telling, health and beauty, and decor and fashion.

Str Crd, a youth event in the Maboneng Precinct, is to focus on exhibitions, lifestyle events, music and symposia, with international artists, deejays and designers that are aimed at the eclectic urban youth culture.


Experience India in the Shared Histories Festival
Experience India at the Shared Histories Festival
One of the largest festivals within Arts Alive is the annual Shared History: The Indian Experience Festival. Overseen by the Indian High Commission in South Africa and partnered with local and Indian cultural groups, this festival prides itself on exchanging cultural aspects of India and South Africa and fusing the two.


According to Steven Sack, the City’s director of arts, culture and heritage, the partnership with Shared History has become an essential part of the Joburg Arts Alive International Festival by delivering a mix of music, dance, literature, film and visual arts.

The month-long Joburg Shopping Festival also takes place in September.

All in all, this year’s Arts Alive promises a range of exhibitions, lifestyle events, live music and more, all reflecting the eclectic urban vibe of Joburg. For the full programme, visit the Arts Alive website.

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Last Updated on 16 August 2011