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Thursday, May 14, 2020


(Photograph by Harry Lock)

It is with great regret that the Hilton Arts Festival management announces the cancellation of this year’s event due to the world wide pandemic.

The decision has been taken after consultation with all major sponsors and in particular with Hilton College, the festival’s presenting sponsor and the host of the event.

Sue Clarence, Director of the Festival since its inception in 1993, said:  “In the light of all the uncertainty surrounding the world’s return to a place where a festival would again be safe and possible to stage, and mindful of the absolute global priority of curtailing the virus, we decided that it would be wiser to make the decision to cancel sooner rather than later. There is no doubt that this is a wise move, but it is, nevertheless, a sad day. Our thoughts are with all the actors, musicians, singers, theatre technicians, artists and crafters, few of whom are regular salaried people and many of whom had their source of income come to an abrupt end in mid-March. We look forward in hope to welcoming you to the 28th Hilton Arts Festival, now planned for 2021.”

Although there will not be a festival in 2020, Festival organisers are planning an online celebration of the event and the role it plays in the national arts scene. Details of this will be advertised on the Festival website and social media.

The Hilton Arts Festival, in the magnificent setting of Hilton College in the KZN Midlands near Pietermaritzburg, has garnered the reputation of being the premier festival event in KZN, staging top quality drama, comedy and music while providing a platform for visual artists and quality crafters. This programme is supported by a wide selection of arts related movies, lectures and workshops.

For the present, the tentative dates for 2021 will be September 10 to 12. These dates will be confirmed once there is more clarity on the pandemic.

Refer to  for all info and updates.

All queries:; 082 469 7222.

The Festival wishes to thank all its loyal sponsors, without whom it would not be possible. 
It is presented by Hilton College  in  association with  Grindrod Bank, Absa, Black Coffee Design, Extreme Events, DWR,  Bidvest Car Rental,  KZN Dept of Art & Culture, Chilli Source, Durban Youth  Radio, BASA, Southern Sun PMB, Redlands Hotel,  Martizburg Sun, Caxton, SA Artist, Loud Crowd Media and Sappi.