Knysna Arts Festival: village atmosphere, international standards

10 AUGUST, 2016: The revived Knysna Arts Festival – returning for its second season from 1 – 9 October, 2016 – will bring international standard visual arts and performing arts to South Africa’s favourite natural destination (#NaturallyKnysna), while at the same time showcasing and encouraging local talent.

Martin-Hatchuel-2012-WEBThe Festival will be presented (also for the second time) by Lew Geffen | Sotheby’s International Realty, Knysna.

“The fact that the Knysna Arts Festival has grown from a 3-day event to a 9-day one in just one year stands as a huge complement to the organisers,” said Sotheby’s International Realty’s Knysna principal, Peter Mare.

“We’re looking forward to supporting the participants, and, because profits from the Festival will go to worthwhile local charities, we’re looking forward to helping to make a contribution to Knysna as a whole,” he said.


“This year’s Festival will revolve around a village-style Art Hub that will be set up in the Woodmill Walk shopping centre, and that will host a number of exhibitions, live performances, lectures, and discussions,” said festival manager, Owen Roberts, a local artist who revived the Festival in 2015 after a hiatus of about ten years.

Mr. Roberts emphasised that the organisers aim to include as many people as possible, “So the Art Hub will be just one of the many venues on the programme.”


The Festival will kick off with a Gala Evening that will include a number of ‘taster performances’ from shows scheduled for later in the week.

“The highlights of the Festival’s performing arts programme have to be the return of last year’s hit show, Ilizwi, which celebrates the best in South African jazz and local talent, and Marc Lottering’s incredibly popular show, Hashtag Lottering, which has played at (or has been booked for) some of the country’s major venues and festivals,” said Mr. Roberts.

“And as far as the visual arts is concerned, we’re very excited that Knysna Fine Arts – which is one of South Africa’s foremost contemporary art galleries – will be mounting an exhibition of works by many of the well-known South African masters.”

He said that this year’s Fringe will include lectures, presentations, demonstrations, and outings that will explore the arts in general, the natural history of the area, and subjects as diverse as the history and the geology of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo.

“But these examples are just a taste of the incredibly full programme – which is available on our newly-launched Festival web site,

“Tickets for the premium events will go on sale online and will also be available from the Lew Geffen | Sotheby’s International Realty, Knysna offices on Leisure Island and Thesen Island, and in Woodmill Lane, Knysna Mall, and Sedgefield from the beginning of September,” he said.


Greg Vogt, CEO of Knysna & Partners (which has lent technical support to the Festival organisers), said that the Knysna Arts Festival has become an important highlight on the town’s annual calendar of events.

“It’s an exciting festival because it showcases Knysna as a creative destination for art lovers from South Africa and abroad, and because it’s so inclusive – with something for people of every age and many, diverse interests.

“But it also brings top talent into the town, which helps to develop the work of local artists and performers.”

The organisers have nominated the Knysna Education Trust, the Options Pregnancy Crisis Centre, the Youth for Christ ‘Hands and Hearts’ programme, and the Paradigm Shift Entrepreneurship Training Centre as the beneficiaries of the 2016 Knysna Arts Festival.

For a detailed programme – and a look at the highlights of the Festival – please go to

  • For regular updates and discussions about the Festival and its various events, please use and follow the hashtag #ArtFestKnysna on Twitter, and like KnysnaArtsFestival on Facebook.

More information

Media release for Knysna & Partners by Martin Hatchuel – 084 951 0574

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