Venues and dates for live / virtual participation

The NEA wishes to extend a sincere word of appreciation towards all institutions, schools and studios for their support in this difficult time by hosting Eisteddfod events for their own students, and also in some instances, for hosting other participants as well.

As we continue to navigate through the effects of the pandemic and its impact on our plans and calendars, we appreciate your patience and commitment to sharing the magic of the arts. As in 2020, we will continue to be flexible and accommodating of the outcomes of any abrupt changes in the lock down regulations as imposed by the national government.

The National Eisteddfod of South Africa will continue to provide opportunities for live performances as far as possible. Video recorded performances and virtual performances will again provide additional platforms for many participants in instances when live performances is not feasible. Participants will also be allowed to change their selected mode of performance on a later stage. More information in this regard will be distributed before we commence with the scheduling of events.

The current proposed dates for the live and virtual performances for this year are between 16 August and 6 October 2021. This timeframe will remain subject to change in order to accommodate possible amendments to the school calendar. For more information about the available venues and hosting dates that are currently available, please click HERE. This information will be updated whenever necessary. Additional venues will be secured where and when necessary to provide for all participants.


A “live” performance still remains the preferred mode of participation for many young performers. It is expected that we will have returned to fairly “normal” circumstances by the end of August. However, as far as the scheduling of events is concerned, the NEA will be able to manage the number of participants involved in any given session in line with the maximum number of people in a gathering as might be allowed on that stage.

Under normal circumstances, sessions that involve individual participants, are usually limited to 6 – 10 participants per 30-minute session that are usually attended by about 10 – 20 parents – in other words, a maximum of 30 people per session. Given the advantaged features of our online system that enable us to publish participation details online in real time, it will be possible to change the number of people involved in any session on very short notice to whatever might be required on that stage.

Similarly, these numbers can also be managed and limited where small group items are involved.

The scheduling of events at institutions that will be hosting their only own students will be done according to the agreements with the relevant institutions.

Any special requests pertaining to unavailable dates within the given timeframe should be submitted well in advance. A copy of this document has been provided in Part 13 of the Prospectus (page 10). This section can be downloaded HERE.


A “virtual” performance provides an alternative to a “live performance” when a live performance is not possible or desirable. Access to a reasonably fast and stable internet connection for this purpose is highly desirable.

A “virtual performance” will be adjudicated in “real time” with the use of internet platforms like “Zoom” and others. For this purpose, all the participants in a given session will be connect in one “virtual meeting” where they will be able to see the other performances and to receive immediate feedback from the adjudicator at the end of the session.

Virtual events will be scheduled in the same way as live performances, but instead of a participant slip that contains details such as time and venue, they will receive a similar slip that contains a link to a virtual internet session that they must use to connect to the particular session.

► The process to join the virtual session is as follows:
 You may either use a computer (with sound and integrated webcam) or a smart phone to join.
 If you haven’t done so before, you first need to download the Zoom app on your computer or cell phone
 You can access the download page for Zoom here:
 Install the app on your computer / phone
 5 minutes before the scheduled time of the information session as provided above, click on the link to the virtual session as provided above. (You will see the message “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon”
 If necessary, please follow any prompt as provided on your screen.

► Use a neutral background when setting up your camera (no windows of lighting from the back).
 Cell phones should be used in the landscape position.
 Do not zoom in and out during the performance.

Any special requests pertaining to unavailable dates within the given timeframe should be submitted well in advance. A copy of this document has been provided in Part 13 of the Prospectus (page 10). This section can be downloaded HERE.

Orientation sessions in preparation for virtual performances:

Prior to the virtual adjudication of performances, the NEA will arrange mock sessions so that parents and participants can become acquainted with this “new” environment and to ensure the smooth running of the actual virtual session.

The same procedure will be followed as will be the case with the “real” adjudication session. Similar participant slips with the necessary links will be forwarded to participants a week or 2 before the actual session

When possible, a link to recording of the mock session will be made available after the session.


  • As you might be aware of, all reading and unprepared items, as well as all other items of an improvisational nature, are excluded from video submissions. This is because they require the input of the adjudicator before the performance can take place and hence this cannot be pre-recorded.  For more information, refer to the requirements as provided in the Speech and Drama Section of the Prospectus.
  • The virtual platform was already successfully utilized for the adjudication of both prepared and unprepared reading during 2020.
  • The same process of setting up and joining a virtual session, as well as an Orientation session as outlined above will be followed.
  • In addition, the following basic procedures for the virtual adjudication of reading items will be followed:

Prepared reading: Participants in this category should email the THREE copies of the reading material as required to at least 3 days before the actual date of participation (please provide your name and grade on all 3 copies).

Unprepared reading: Participants in this category should verify the correctness of their email address as provided on their online profile. A copy of the unprepared reading material will be emailed to each participant at least 30 minutes before the start of their session. A printout of this document should be made as soon as you have received it in order to prepare.

► The link to the actual date and time of your virtual participation will be distributed to participants in the same format as the “Orientation Session”.