The Hilton Arts Festival (HAF) is now in its 30th year. It began in 1993 and has grown to be one of the leading theatre festivals in the country. It is the only event of its kind in KZN and, post Covid, the only English speaking theatre festival in SA with the exception of the National Arts Festival.  Its main aim is to bring the pick of South African theatre to KZN and support it with a programme of music, lectures, visual arts and crafts. It places great value on technical excellence. It has a growing lifestyle element as well, which is greatly increasing the attendance numbers and it now attracts about 25 000 people annually. It was the brainchild of Sue Clarence who is still its Director. 

In 2008, The HAF introduced Jongosi, a programme specifically aimed at the youth. The late great Johnny Clegg coined the term “Jongosi” from the Afrikaans “jong os”, giving it a Zulu twist – “Jongosi” and meaning everything that is young, vibrant and filled with hope for the future. He allowed us to use the term. Jongosi is an increasingly important aspect of the festival. Although content is all educational, it is not syllabus specific and deals, rather, with broader apsects of education. 

To get an idea of the scope of the event, kindly go to

The HAF is administered by The Arts Trust of South Africa (ATSA). See footer on this page for details of the trust’s legal and fiscal status. Hilton College is both the host and a sponsor in that the facilities are made available to the Festival free of charge. ATSA works closely with the College in the practical planning of the event. 

Don't forget to validate your parking ticket (R100 per vehicle; valid for all three days) at the Box Office or Info Tent before you leave.


from 364 reviews
"Superb performance. "
- Fenella
"A witty,sincere,courageous and highly entertaining performance from Aaron McIlroy! How brave, and clever to open a vegan discussion on Heritage day, a day South Africans go meat crazy! Thanks you for finding a safe space , cushioned with brilliant humour, and a perfect forum to give meat eaters food for thought. "
- Rosanne Hurly-Coyne
"Excellent . Very moving and Peter at his very best"
- Mike Lowry
"Urban Circus was breathtaking!"
- Denis
"Such a clever way to bring up some very sensitive content! thoroughly enjoyed"
- Carmen

Contact info

Twitter Feed