Citizen Reporter
4 minute read
10 Sep 2021
5:13 pm

Arts Alive Festival highlights to look forward to

Citizen Reporter

The 2021 Arts Alive Festival promises to cater to audiences of every interest with a lineup of dance, music, theatre, visual art and more.

An image taken during the Arts Alive Festival 2021 launch event | Picture: Twitter

The 29th edition of the annual Arts Alive Festival starting this month will kick off under the theme “A Redefining and Artistic Creative Future.”

Known as Arts Alive International Festival, this year’s festivities will take place between 7 September and 12 December 2021.

Johannesburg’s new Executive Mayor Jolidee Matongo launched the Arts Alive Festival this past week.

According to event organisers, City of Johannesburg (COJ), the festival will be a great artistic fusion featuring artists from various sectors of the creative industry in a range of creative offerings planned to scintillate both Joburg-based and global audiences with a uniquely Joburg artistic flair.

This year’s festival will be a hybrid event that will be presented for both virtual and physical audiences.

“The window of opportunity presented by the Covid-19 pandemic will see the festival activities streamed to cater for wider audiences that would not otherwise be able to attend the festival. The supporters of the festival can take comfort in the hope that regulations will be relaxed gradually and the allowed capacities for indoor and outdoor venues will be increased to afford audiences the live experience,” said COJ in a statement.

“In paying homage to our flagship programme, ‘Jazz on the Lake,’ we have curated a virtual jazz offering titled ‘Jazz @ Arts Alive’ that will be streamed live on Sunday the 19 September 2021.”

The City also touted an exciting lineup of events and artists planned to cater for a cross-section of audiences across disciplines such as Theatre, Music, Crafts, Visual Arts, Dance, Film and a series of educational programmes such as webinars, workshops, masterclasses and conferences. 

Arts Alive Festival 2021 highlights will include:

1) Jazz @ Arts Alive – 19 September 2021: A quality house band featuring guest performers from a selection of award-winning South African artists. With this programme, audiences will be introduced to a range of Afro Jazz/Afro Pop.

The Arts Alive Festival presents the Jazz on the Lake Virtual Concert, which will be streamed on Sunday 19 September from 7 to 8:45 pm. ‘Jazz @ Arts Alive’ will feature an amazing and range of artists. Jazz on the Lake 2021 is the 29th annual concert and, given the pandemic, this is its 2nd virtual edition.

The ‘Jazz @ Arts Alive’ concert is recorded on the Mandela Stage at the Joburg Theatre. The virtual programme can be accessed on: as well as Facebook Pages Arts Alive, Joburg International Arts Festival and Joburg Theatre.

ALSO READ: Four festivals you need to know about happening in September

The almost two-hour concert will feature over 15 leading artists across the jazz and Afro Pop genres. A multi-talented 8-piece house band together with KAMVA, the string quartet, will back most of the artists. The ‘Jazz @ Arts Alive’ House Band is composed of jazz musicians including Lindy Ngonelo on keyboard, Sipho Mabena on bass, Simz Tshabalala on drums, Sydney Mavundla on flugelhorn, Mandla Mlangeni on trumpet, Thamie Mahlangu on sax, Themba Mokoena on lead guitar 1, Cameron Ward on lead guitar 2, and directed by Avzal Ismail.

Featured artists include: Siya Makuzeni, Cameron Ward, Mandisi Dyantyis, Zoë Modiga, AusTebza, Azana, Sydney Mavundla, Xhanti Nokwali, Pops Mohamed, Afrika Mkhize, Tribute Birdie Mboweni, Kyle Shepherd, Themba Mokoena and Mandla Ntlaks.

2) Beatmakers Market-26 September 2021: An innovative networking event geared towards artists and producers to meet and build successful business relationships with programming that will include online beat auctions, virtual workshops, live streaming of panel discussions, online product demonstration and beatmaker of the year.

3) Kwaito Legends Concert -22 October 2021: This will be a Kwaito legends concert featuring prominent Kwaito artists and producers. The concert will comprise a dialogue with Kwaito producers and a concert by Kwaito music artists. The key focus of the dialogue will look at where the Kwaito genre is currently and where it’s going and the influence the genre has had in SA music.

4) Theatre Production and Acting Masterclass-28-31 October 2021: The play titled The Red on the Rainbow follows the aftermath of the death of a young man on a maize farm at the hands of a farmer’s son and his friends. It explores how time seems to remain frozen, picture-style, in an unending apartheid-ghost-dance. As an addition to the performance, there will be a workshop for artists who have a desire to re-charge and experiment with new ideas.

5) Global Dance Supreme: September -29-31 October 2021: A diverse offering that will cover a range of topics and events such as Online Championship Programme; Free Dance Workshops and DJ Live streams; Facebook Live Workshops; Facebook Live Mixes and GDS Sessions covering the following topics: Next Gen; Defending Champions and Dance Styles.

6) The Imbalance Phenomenon of Economy Exhibition by Azael Langa -17 November 2021: This is a body of work from the medium of fumage. Fumage is the use of smoke and fire to create artistic works that are unique yet striking. These works will be an artistic representation of the City of Johannesburg. They will depict the lived experiences of the people of Johannesburg and capture their aspirations.

7) Digital Audience Development- 27-28 November 2021: The programme will support, strengthen and advance the arts marketing and audience engagement skills of arts and cultural professionals. The 2021 edition features hybrid workshops and conference sessions that are designed to empower attendees with tangible and applicable solutions to today’s digital challenges.

READ NEXT: Festival helps tour guides get back on their feet