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National Eisteddfod of South Africa®

Youth development in the Arts since 1997

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Explaining the differences between the various performance modes

Participants have the option so select between 3 different modes of participation. The differences between these modes are described below.  It is important to note that participants will have the option to change the selected mode or performance online until such time when the scheduling of events kicks off.

It is important to note that once a live or virtual performance has been scheduled, changes in this regard might have cost implications

What is the difference between the following?

  • Live Performance
  • Virtual Performance
  • Video Recorded Performance

Live Performance

A Live Performance refers to the traditional way of performing according to the predetermined schedule, at an eisteddfod venue -  in real time,  on a stage or suitable venue, in the presence of the adjudicator and an audience.

At the end of each session participants are presented with their certificates and the adjudicator usually provides same verbal feedback on the preceding session. 


Virtual Performance

A Virtual Performance refers to a situation where the various performers and the adjudicator are not in the same venue. This was a very useful tool during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. When it is not possible to bring the performers and the adjudicator together in one venue ( as it was the case with the pandemic), it is possible, with the help of internet software like Zoom, to connect all the participants in a session, as well as the adjudicator  in a virtual "cloud" venue where they can hear and see each other.  In this way it is possible to maintain something of the magic of a real live performance which is not possible with a recorded performance. The adjudicator will provide feedback at the end of each Virtual adjudication session.

Our experience was that this platform could be use with reasonable success for individual speech and drama items like reading and public speaking. However, as far as music is concerned, the  results were far from satisfactory due to the limitations of internet speed and the technical issues where ZOOM e.g. making the software choose between allowing the music to come through, or the singer's voice. Subsequently, it was decided to limit the use of the "virtual" or Zoom option to unprepared and prepared reading, as well as public speaking (prepared and unprepared) only.  The purpose for this decision was to allow participants in remote areas to enter for entries that cannot be submitted as video recordings (all unprepared work have been excluded from video option).

Virtual Performances are scheduled in a similar way as Live Performances. The difference however is that the participant is not required to be at a certain venue at a certain time, but should join in a virtual cloud "meeting" on a predetermined date and time by means of a link that will be e-mailed to each participants, together with full details and instructions of how the process works.

Participants in the prepared reading session is also required to submit the examples of their prepared reading as per the requirements in the Prospectus.


Video Recorded Performance

A Video Recorded Performance refers to the recording on video of a performance that can then be presented to the NEA Office for adjudication on a later stage. The Guidelines for recording the video and how to submit it can be downloaded HERE.