A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

festivals
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

NAF CONTRIBUTION (article first published : 2003-11-9)

Since the start of the National Arts Festival nearly 30 years ago, the economic impact on the Eastern Cape region has been profound. The recent study undertaken by J.D Snowball and G.G Antrobus from the Department of Economics and Economic History at Rhodes University indicates that an estimate of R33 million is brought into the area during the time of the Festival.

The research was conducted to provide information on demographical profiles and to measure the tourist and economic impact potential of arts festivals in South Africa.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted with festival-goers, known locally as festinos. A quota sample was used based on information of previous studies of the same festival of the population profile (age, sex and race group).

Lynette Marais, Festival Director says the findings of the report have been interesting and encouraging. “Approximately 60% of festinos fell into the 18 to 35 year age category, a larger proportion than previously, with 21% between 36 and 45, 15% between 46 and 60 and a mere 4% older than 60. This shows that younger audiences are beginning to appreciate theatre more than before which bodes well for the future”, she says.

Findings showed than on average, attendees consisted of slightly more females (55%) than men, an increase in African (30% compared to 22% in 2001) and Coloured (10%) and Asian (4%) festinos. English as a home language fell from 74% in 2001 to 53% in 2003, 17% Afrikaans, with Xhosa 19%, Zulu 4,5% and other 6,5% (Sotho, Ndebele, French and German).

Lynette Marais points out, “as in all previous years, festivalgoers were largely South Africans (94.75%) with a small international contingent from Zimbabwe, the USA, England, Botswana and France. Also as before, about a third of festinos interviewed were from Grahamstown. Of the South African non-local festinos about 21% (13% of the total) were from Cape Town, 19% from Johannesburg, 12% from Port Elizabeth, 9% from Durban and 7,5% from East London, the remainder being from a variety of other places.”

In keeping with previous indications, the National Arts Festival continues to attract audiences that are increasingly interested in attending shows. About 88% of festinos interviewed had attended at least one ticketed show on the main or fringe, the average number of shows attended per person during their entire visit was five shows or one show per person per day (given the average length of stay of six days). Findings also showed that 37% of festinos attended more than the average number of shows, again indicating the presence of a large number of serious festivalgoers.

“Proof that the Festival is attracting a younger crowd”, says Lynette “are the results that show 26% of festinos were attending the Festival for the first time (2001: 23%), 29% for the second or third time (2001: 23%), 18,5% had been between four and seven times before, 6% between eight and ten times and 19,8 more than ten times before (many of the latter group being Grahamstown locals.)

Part of the survey was to interview about 42 businesses in an effort to ascertain the impact of the National Arts Festival on the Grahamstown economy. 64% of businesses reported increases in monthly income and 32,4% generated temporary employment opportunities.

Further studies of the Grahamstown community show that they value the Festival highly (and all citizens across the board) would be willing to make a significant monetary payment totalling R2,8 million to prevent the Festival from becoming 25% smaller.

Mannie Manim, Chairman of the National Arts Festival concludes, “Although the economic impact is undoubtedly important for the region, this report finds that there are other, non-market benefits that the Festival provides that are equally important. The Festival provides entertainment and pleasure as well as creating community pride and the will to foster the arts and to educate the community.”

The festival is sponsored by the Eastern Cape Government, Standard Bank, National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, SABC and the National Arts Council.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart