Curtains Draw on the Redhill Arts Festival 2023: A Captivating Triumph of Creativity

Now that the stages are cleared, the seats set away and the fading echoes of music and laughter have left the campus, the Redhill Arts Festival 2023 reflects on the unforgettable collection of artistic brilliance, mesmerising drama, and enthralling entertainment that filled our school for three days in late July.

We have been overwhelmed with beautiful messages of support and thanks, praising the meticulous organisation and the outstanding calibre of performances enjoyed at all 30 theatre productions. Thousands flocked to Redhill’s campus to enjoy shows, with highlights including classics like Woza Albert and Defending the Caveman, and thought-provoking shows like Home Affairs and Skin Tight (which premiered at the festival to theatrical acclaim as a testament to pushing artistic boundaries).

Audiences had no difficulty finding secure parking and enjoyed the available transfers to our sprawling campus. When not enjoying theatre productions, Joburgers perused a superb curated art gallery (with numerous purchases made to adorn local homes) and spent quality time with their kids at the various children’s shows and the Walton’s Wonderland, filled with painting, beading, balloon-sculpting, giant outdoor games, takkie painting, sand art, face-painters, stilt-walkers and more – all carefully looked after by dedicated childminders.

The outdoor artisanal market was also a festival highlight with 40 stalls stocked to the brim with the highest quality, locally produced products. From fashion to jewellery, homeware to curios, there was something for everyone and arms were filled with bags of retail therapy! Nobody went hungry with some of Joburg’s finest food trucks dishing up delectable delights. With full bellies and cups, festival attendees took every opportunity to eat, drink and be merry amongst the daily entertainment line-up.

The biggest highlights, as always, included the Music Festival at the Standard Bank Field on Saturday night with over 1500 attendees, drawn by headliner acts MiCasa and Jesse Clegg. Not even Joburg’s signature July cold could deter the dancing, singing and electric atmosphere. And then, as the crown of the festival, the Sunday Family Picnic was a huge hit, with incredible acts bringing the heat to a chilly morning as families enjoyed the food trucks and picnics. The inimitable Mzansi Youth Choir brought the crowd to its feet as we recorded a special video to send to the America’s Got Talent team to show them what a South African supporting standing ovation looks like, as the multitalented group make their way to the semi-finals later this month. Redhill is rooting for you!

Joseph Gerassi, the festival director and Executive Head of Redhill School, shared his enthusiasm, saying, “The Redhill Arts Festival has once again proven to be a testament to the unyielding power of the arts to inspire, unite and uplift. The memorable performances, incredible entertainment and camaraderie of Joburgers is a reflection of the tireless efforts of everyone involved.”

Mr Gerassi continues this sentiment by sharing his gratitude to 2023’s media sponsors, ENCA, TimesLive, MixFM, as well as Standard Bank, Waltons and Stella Artois. “We thank our amazing sponsors for playing such an important role in promoting the arts and providing a stage for South African artists to extend and amplify their reach.”

The curtains may have fallen but our spirits certainly have not! The Redhill team is already hard at work brainstorming how 2024’s Arts Festival will be bigger and better, but if 2023 is any indication, it’ll be a tough act to follow!

For media inquiries, please contact: Mandy Roff (mroff@redhill.co.za)

The Redhill Arts Festival is an annual celebration of culture, creativity and community. Hosted on Redhill’s expansive campus, the Festival is committed to showcasing the best that South African arts can offer, with theatre, music, visual arts and more.

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