The annual National Arts Festival Makhanda, in the Eastern Cape, will resume live shows this year with strict compliance to COVID-19 regulations.

The festival was held virtually in 2020 for the first time since its inception. This year, it will be held from the 8th to the 18th of July in Makhanda.

Festival Chief Executive Officer, Monica Newton says the wearing of masks, hand sanitizing, temperature screening and social distancing seating will be enforced.

She says to reduce physical contact, the ticketing will be paperless and digital payment methods will be favoured.

“We have designed a specific response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are going to be having 11 days of the festival in Makhanda,” says Newton.

“For the first time ever, in partnership with Standard Bank in a platform called Standard Bank Presents, we will be working with live shows in Cape Town, Johannesburg, East London and Durban. All events will be offered in the strictest protocols that meet the requirements of government regulations and together with our audiences and artists, we look forward to going back to the stage,” says Newton.