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Monday, September 16, 2019


(Want a chip? Khosi Munyai (two years old) feeds a hard-crafted flamingo made entirely from recycled and found metal by All Done Designs. Photo by Harry Lock)

The 27th version of the fabulous annual Hilton Arts Festival (from September 13 until 15) was a remarkable success – with typical Hilton weather, and great audiences.

“We have had a cracker weekend!” enthused festival director, Sue Clarence. “Despite the cool damp weather on Saturday we had lots of day trippers, and even more yesterday with the weather being picture-perfect warm and sunny. We are delighted that ticket sales were marginally up on last year – which in our current challenging financial climate was a huge relief.

“Special features of this year include Absa’s astonishing exhibition of Pierneef paintings and Anton van Wouw’s bronze sculptures which really raised the bar in regards to the festival’s visual arts component. The Grindrod Bank On the Couch sessions were hugely successful allowing visitors to spend intimate time with some of the industry luminaries. Graffiti artist Ewok created an enormous building-size mural which was auctioned for charity in an FNB driven campaign.

“We were particularly pleased with our annual youth day – Jongosi – which has become such an important part of the festival. We are grateful to DWR and FNB for enabling underprivileged children to participate. The theatre productions were all well supported and there was consistent foot-traffic in all the market and gallery spaces.”

The festival once more celebrated the best of South Africa’s magnificent art, theatre, dance, comedy, music and memorable live experience for the whole family, with a carefully-curated line-up of some of the country’s most sought-after art exhibitions complementing a myriad productions, great food and a bespoke craft market.

For more info, visit or contact the Festival Office on or 033 383 0127.

Next year’s festival is scheduled for September 13 to 15, 2020.

The Hilton Arts Festival is presented by Hilton College and tiso black star in association with: Grindrod Bank , Black Coffee Design,  Extreme Events, DWR , Absa, Bidvest Car Rental, KZN Dept of Arts & Culture , FNB,  Stella Artois, BASA, Southern Sun PMB, Stella Artois, Redlands Hotel, Maritzburg Sun, the Caxton Group, SA Artist, Loud Crowd Media and  Sappi.