One of South Africa’s biggest arts festivals, the 2021 Toyota SU Woordfees, is set to exclusively broadcast on DStv to local and Namibian viewers. The Woordfees TV festival pop-up channel will premiere on DStv channel 198 from 1 – 7 October 2021.
DStv Premium and Compact Plus subscribers will have access to this pop-up channel. Viewers can look forward to thought-provoking content that is the fabric of the popular annual Stellenbosch festival and includes literature and writers’ discussions, theatre performances, contemporary and classical music, stand-up comedy, lifestyle content, debates, visual arts, and dance. Selected performances will be rebroadcast on the pop-up channel.
In collaboration with the Words Open Worlds (WOW) Project, the festival content will also include educational elements. All narrative content and discussions will have English subtitles.
The content for Woordfees is compiled specifically for TV and artist participation will be primarily by invitation. However, artists who have recently produced suitable work that meets the technical requirements for broadcast, will have the opportunity to present their work for inclusion in the programme. Application forms and guidelines regarding technical specifications for submissions are available on the Woordfees website. Applications will close on the 15th of July. The programme content and broadcast times for Toyota SU Woordfees TV will be announced in September 2021.
“MultiChoice is thrilled to broadcast the Toyota SU Woordfees on DStv and to continue to support the festival through kykNET that has been a media partner for some years. The performing arts and live events were hard hit by the pandemic, and the creative industries cannot flourish without the energy and talent nurtured by theatres and festivals currently battling for survival. We hope this festival pop-up channel will bring the arts closer to our customers, and they can enjoy great content in the comfort and safety of their homes,” says Gideon Khobane, MultiChoice Group Executive: General Entertainment.
Saartjie Botha, festival director of the Toyota SU Woordfees is excited about this new concept: “Broadcasting the festival on DStv is a wonderful and safe way to celebrate and share the performing arts. Showcasing the festival on television makes it possible for us to keep the festival alive, create income opportunities for artists and exposure for our sponsors who have supported us with such tremendous trust and loyalty during the pandemic. We are very grateful for the contributions of Toyota, Stellenbosch University, kykNET, MultiChoice and Media24 without which this TV festival would not have been possible.””
The sponsors of the Woordfees welcomed the new format of the 2021 festival.
Leon Theron, Senior Vice-president of Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors shares Botha’s enthusiasm: “We are proud to bring such a prestigious festival into the living rooms of arts and culture enthusiasts across the country. We regret that Covid-19 has made it impossible for events like the Toyota SU Woordfees to be staged live with audiences but we hope that the pop-up TV channel will help us build more meaningful connections with our audiences as we see arts and culture as a strong fabric for social cohesion.”
Professor Wim de Villiers, rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University says the pop-up channel is a testimony to the continuous innovation of the Toyota SU Woordfees team. “Across all industries, people have had to invent new ways of doing during the pandemic, and people working in the performing arts have had to fight many uphill battles in this time. This wonderful initiative provides artists and audiences a unique way of experiencing the magic of Woordfees.”
Ishmet Davidson, CEO of Media24, also expressed his appreciation for the new Woordfees initiative: “We are grateful that we will now be able to experience performances in the comfort and safety of our own homes, and also for the ways in which the Woordfees is still creating opportunities for artists and serving and inspiring a community of festivalgoers.”
“kykNET is extremely proud to be part of this project,” says Karen Meiring on behalf of kykNET. “This pop-up channel is the first of its kind and a refreshing addition to the DStv channel offering – a great, one-time opportunity to experience the Woordfees across the country and all over Namibia.”
The 2021 Toyota SU Woordfees TV programme will be broadcast from 1 – 7 October on DStv channel 198. These broadcast dates may change depending on COVID19 lockdown restrictions.
Visit us on woordfees.co.za and follow Woordfees social media platforms for new information about the TV festival.