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CANCELLATION OF EISTEDDFOD (article first published : 1999-05-13)

The 1999 International Eisteddfod of South Africa has had to be cancelled, a sad move as this would have marked the event’s tenth anniversary. Normally held in September/October in Greater Johannesburg, the organisers have had to bow to the pressures of lack of funding. Another nail in the coffin of the arts, it seems.

The local city council withdrew the bulk of its financial as well as in-kind support and an intensified fundraising campaign was unsuccessful in raising the required shortfall. “There was also the realisation that corporate sponsors are not likely to support the event unless it changes its character from an event serving the needs of the amateur arts and culture community to an event serving the needs of a more commercially oriented pop-culture society,” says the Eisteddford CEO, Joe le Roux.

A final decision could be postponed no later than end April, when applications for participation were due to close. The Eisteddfod board regrets the inconvenience caused to all those who had expressed an interest in being involved and especially apologises to prospective competitors who may have spent much time and effort in preparing their applications. A final decision on the future of the eisteddfod as an association has yet to be taken.


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