Hilton Arts Festival celebrates success
Thursday, 13 October 2022
the-tehcnical-team-with-michae-taylor-broderik-first-row-third-from-the-leftThe festival technical team with Michael Taylor-Broderick (photo: Harry Lock)
South Africa - It was with slight trepidation that the organisers of the Hilton Arts Festival opened the event on Friday, 23 September in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. After a two-year COVID-19 gap, the depressed economy, the hazardous N3 highway between Durban and Hilton and severely reduced sponsorship, it was a risky decision to take. However, driven by the sure knowledge that the arts are one of the most vital parts of a balanced society and a happy people, they forged ahead.
“With the weather playing ball (no wind, no rain) crafters and visual artists had a steady flow of visitors all weekend,” said Sue Clarence, the founder of Hilton Arts Festival. “All productions were well supported, with several selling out. The community of performers, visual artists and crafters who, over the years, have become a firm part of the success of the festival, were overwhelming in their praise, excited to be back.”
Shows and exhibitions included Firefly and Mandela A Life’s Journey, Urban Circus. The new Music Auditorium raised the bar for music with its acoustic design. “This is what art is meant to do,” Sue adds. “Thanks to our sponsors, we were able to up our game technically which made a huge impression on the visiting production companies.”
This was the 28th year that technical director, Michael Taylor-Broderick from DWR Distribution, was involved in the festival. “Thank you Sue Clarence and Evan Roberts for your unfailing dedication to keeping the festival alive,” said Michael. “You took a huge risk and provided a platform for artists of all genres to express themselves and you created an opportunity for at least a dozen entertainment technicians to earn some decent money after the devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on our industry.”
Michael expresses he would not have attempted the festival without the integrity and dedication of Thulani Fakazi and his team from Black Coffee Design, and sincerely thanks all the technicians involved and the companies like Insane Sound and Extreme Events. He adds, “Thank you also to Duncan Riley and DWR for allowing me the freedom to continue being a part of the festival; it’s been 28 years now and each year it never fails to teach me new things, and for your ongoing desire to keep the arts alive.”
The festival was made possible by the host sponsor, Hilton College, and other major contributors. DWR Distribution, ZAR Premium Beer, Black Coffee Design, Insane Sound and Extreme Events generously came to the party. Media sponsors were The Sharks, ECR, Fabmags, Maritzburg Sun and My Midlands. The festival also thanks Pam Golding Properties, Valpre, Sappi, Bluu Car Hire, Nuprint, Spectrum Cleaning Services, Broll, Red Alert and the staff of Hilton College for their unwavering support.
“The biggest thanks goes to you, the public, for being here to keep the arts alive,” ended Sue. “There are already big plans and some exciting changes, for 2023. Dates planned for 2023 are 15 to 17 September.”

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