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Monday, March 11, 2019


(Measuring out spots for the various arts and craft stall holders ahead of the Hilton Arts Festival are Sheryl Hodkin (Hilton College Theatre); Mike Miller (craft market layout, from Spectrum Services), Sue Clarence (Hilton Arts Festival Director) and Duncan Bonella (Hilton Arts Festival Logistics Manager for Arts, Crafts and Food Vendors)
(Pic by Jonathan Burton)

Artists and crafters interested in exhibiting at the region’s foremost arts festival are invited to apply to the 2019 Hilton Arts Festival which takes place at Hilton College from September 13 to 15, 2019.

Applications are now open for interested art exhibitors and craft stall holders, as well as vendors offering fresh and unusual food options.

With a riveting programme of art already secured, potential exhibitors wanting to be a part of this year’s festival have from March 1 until end of April to get their applications in. Successful artists, crafters and food vendors will be notified by the end of May.

In a quest continually to make the festival contemporary, relevant and interesting, spaces for art exhibitions will be a slightly reconfigured from previous years. Artist applicants are welcome to suggest where they would like to exhibit (subject to availability and selection committee choices). The venues on offer are the Bell Tower & Churchill Tents; Memorial Hall foyer, five walls within the Grindrod Bank Theatre foyer and in the Raymond Slater Library. The Normand Dunn Gallery is by invitation only and is already allocated.

The craft market will also be slightly different this year – the intention is to bring it back to its original brief, and consider first and foremost quality handcrafted, bespoke, unusual and vintage goods of interest. Complementing this will be artisanal food stuffs such as preserves, pickles and breads and cheeses; and plants and flowers. In response to the new parameters, the number of stalls will decrease slightly and the layout will be completely refreshed. The Wild Garden Tent will be for crafters and food outlets only, with a satellite bar. There will be a family friendly area with jumping castles and kiddies entertainment alongside the craft area. First time crafters who haven’t exhibited before are especially welcome to apply.

The festival committee is also looking for food traders offering innovative and unusual food – ideally fresh and locally sourced. Priority will also be given to vegetarian, vegan and healthy options.

The festival once more celebrates the best of South Africa’s magnificent art, theatre, music and the live experience. And this year promises to be no different, with an exciting line-up of some of the country’s most sought-after art exhibitions complementing a myriad productions and shows.

Festival dates are September 13 to 15. The programme will appear in KZN copies of The Sunday Times on August 11. Booking opens on August 12, and the programme will be live on the festival website from the morning of August 12. For more information, rates, and the application forms visit or contact the Festival Office on or 033 383 0127.

The Hilton Arts Festival is presented by Hilton College and tiso blackstar group, in association with Grindrod Bank; Black Coffee; Extreme Events; DWR; Bidvest Car Rental; BASA; the KZN Department of Arts and Culture; Redlands Hotel; the Caxton Group; Maritzburg Sun; Loud Crowd and Sappi.