The Hilton Arts Festival is sad to announce that the decision has been made not to run a major event this year. “We left the decision as late as possible in the hopes that the Covid pandemic would be less severe by September,” said Sue Clarence, the Festival Director. “However, in the light of the Covid situation right now, it would not be socially responsible to go ahead with this year’s event. The generous donations via our crowd funding campaign will make for a great event next year. Let’s all live carefully but in hope!”

“Hilton College has been greatly saddened by the cancellation of the 2021 festival but circumstances beyond everyone’s control have brought us all to this point. We treasure the opportunity that the festival gives us to support the arts and provide employment across a range of industries. With next year being the 30th anniversary of the Hilton Arts Festival, and the 150 th anniversary of our school, we’re excited to make the 2022 event the best yet!” said Paul Venter, Director of Arts and Culture at Hilton College.

However, all is not entirely lost for 2021. Then Jongosi Youth programme has been postponed, rather than cancelled. Schools involved will be contacted privately. Furthermore, Jongosi also has an extra, new and exciting format, with a dynamic new sponsor. Watch the media for an announcement soon.

An appeal from Sue Clarence, Festival Director since 1993.

For close on 30 years the Hilton Arts Festival has made an indelible print on the South African and KZN theatre, music and arts landscape. Every year, like magic, it happens again, bringing joy to thousands of people. Thanks to Covid, the true image is no longer rosy.

2020 was a financial disaster for the entertainment and eventing industries world-wide. Without your help, we at the Hilton Arts Festival face extinction.

As the person who started the festival in 1993, let me explain. Hilton College has been a loyal and supportive host and sponsor, graciously allowing us to make use of their property and buildings. It is incorrect to presume that the College either contributes to or benefits from the Festival in any financial sense. The Festival is managed by ATSA, a non-profitable trust with charitable status, which aims annually, to cover all costs (including the less glamorous aspects of event management), provide work for performers, artists and technicians; to give the public an immersive arts experience; and, to expose the youth of SA to the arts and all the intrinsic values of arts in education. Even in a good year, the festival is not a money-spinner.

In order to make 2021 and 2022 (the 30th Festival) a reality we ask you as patrons, lovers of the arts, those who believe in the vital importance of arts in education, to make a donation. No matter how big or small, it will help keep this event afloat until there is light at the end of the Covid tunnel. Please give generously.

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Hilton Arts Festival 2021