THE National Arts Festival’s mainstay event, the classical ballet Giselle, almost did not happen on Saturday when the power went out for almost an hour and generators failed to kick in.
Artists presenting the popular free daily sundowner concert, in which performers feature snapshots of their shows, had to soldier on in the dark, a festival source said, but power was restored just in time for the ballet.
The power outage was one of several glitches that challenged festival organisers at the weekend, but shows went on and chief executive Tony Lankester said the event’s brand had become so strong that organisers planned to export it to the rest of South Africa.
He said part of a broad strategy of international, national and provincial collaboration would be to link the Grahamstown festival to other festivals in the country.
They were looking to run venues, share business skills and spread the festival’s logo as a sign of "trust” for audiences at other festivals.
He also said there was a possibility of introducing an award for arts writers. "We have sports and other journalist of the year awards, so why not an arts journalist of the year?”
On the lighter side, festino behaviour has, as always, included the bizarre.
While former Fly Paper Jet lead singer Lance Herman was premiering 12 personal acoustic songs in a darkened venue at the Graham Hotel, the door burst open, and a young festino stood there in a blaze of light, shouting at the top of her voice: "I want to eat!”
She returned later with a takeaway meal which she and four friends noisily shared.