On 26 May 2020, UJ Arts & Culture’s UNFESTIVAL SA launched. As anticipated, audiences stayed away in their droves (which was partly the idea) … UNFESTIVAL SA has now been extended beyond the initial closing date of 6 June to 14 June 2020.

“Remember The Nothing from the 1984 movie, The NeverEnding Story, directed by Steven Spielberg?” asks Pieter Jacobs, Head of UJ Arts & Culture. “The Nothing is the overarching antagonist and primary threat of the 1979 German fantasy novel (or rather, the first half of the novel) Die unendliche Geschichte and Spielberg’s 1984 film adaptation of the same name.

Yes, the one with the catchy theme song by Limahl. Imagine for a minute you’re an artist or a creative – well that’s what Covid-19 is, irrespective of which level of lockdown we happen to find ourselves in. This pandemic continues to be the overarching antagonist and primary threat to the livelihoods of cultural and creative practitioners, which is dependent on social closeness, not social distance.”

UJ’s UNFESTIVAL SA is not a festival. It is a symbolic concept intended to benefit students in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture and, through our partnership with BASA’s Artist Relief campaign, for the creative sector as a whole. UJ Arts & Culture and BASA recognise that the widespread cancellations of festivals, concerts, productions, exhibitions, events and cultural programmes, locally and internationally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a Sword of Damocles, hanging over the livelihoods of artists globally. We know that very few arts and culture organisations will have adequate reserves to sustain them through these uncertain times. UNFESTIVAL SA is an opportunity to show up, even if you can’t — buy buying a ticket to nothing. Well … maybe something, you’ll have to buy a ticket at https://tinyurl.com/unfest2020

to see …

What do you get when you buy a ticket? Nothing. No. No kidding. You get zip. Zero. Nada.

But maybe you get to make a difference. Go on … Do the right thing and support the arts.


About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts. In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA offers programmes in eight creative disciplines in art, design and architecture, as well as being home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. For more information, please visit www.uj.ac.za/arts.

About Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)

Constituted in terms of the Companies Act, BASA is registered as a public benefit organisation (PBO) and is accountable to its stakeholders. The BASA Board of Directors comprises Chair Charmaine Soobramoney, with Deputy Chair Mandie van der Spuy, and Kojo Baffoe, Kathy Berman, Devi Sankaree Govender, Ashraf Johaardien (BASA CEO), Hilton Lawler, Andre Le Roux, Khanyi Mamba, Zingisa Motloba, Carel Nolte, Dr Yacoob Omar, and Mirna Wessels. For more information please visit www.basa.co.za to become a BASA member, click on the ‘JOIN US’ tab at the top of the home page.