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FESTIVAL FIGURES (article first published : 1999-07-17)

The final figures for 1999 Standard Bank National Arts Festival reflect a 50% increase on the main festival on the 1998 event, whereas the Fringe saw a drop of 8% on 1998.

Lynette Marais, Festival Director, says of the increase on the Main Festival: “We are overjoyed by the success of the 25th anniversary Festival. The outstanding quality of the programme contributed to the best ever attendance on the Main Festival. Because the competition was far greater we expected a drop in the Fringe ticket sales. Fortunately, due to the high standard of productions on the Fringe, it is not as considerable as anticipated. People came to Grahamstown to enjoy arts and culture and I honestly believe we have thousands of happy customers.”

Bearing in mind that this year’s festival included two extra days of trading, the Village Green figures for 1999 amounted to a healthy increase of over 37 000. This year’s figures were 499,155 as opposed to 461,988 in 1998. The weather was certainly kind to outdoor traders, the PX Village and the Village Green with clear skies and brilliant sunshine on most days. On the final Friday, the temperature soared to 29º but the following day, the wind and chilly conditions set in and it was back to normal Grahamstown Festival conditions!


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