42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014 closed with 94% of tickets sold

March 24th, 2014

(Hong Kong, 24 March 2014) The 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) officially closed with the Gala Concert performed by the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir on 22 March. At the HKAF closing ceremony held after the concert, Guest of Honour, The Hon Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Secretary for Administration, proposed a toast to mark the conclusion of this major annual international event.

With participation by 1,600 artists from 54 soloists and ensembles, the 42nd HKAF presented a total of 137* performances, two of which werefree performances by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. This year’s programmes included 21 world premieres, as well as 16 Asian premieres.

The total number of tickets available at the box office was 115,000. The average attendance for ticketed performances amounts to 94%, at over 108,000 tickets. Total audience number exceeded 123,100, including 15,134 Young Friends Scheme participants. Of the 135 ticketed performances, 105 were attended by over 90%, including 93 capacity houses. Topping off the list of live performances, a total of 222 PLUS events and 82 Festival Young Friends activities were offered.

As a non-profit organization, the HKAF receives about 30% of its annual income from the HKSAR Government through LCSD funding. The remaining 70% of the Festival’s annual income comes from box office revenue as well as sponsorships and donations from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, corporations, individuals and charitable foundations. In 2014, the Festival was strongly supported by 2 main funding bodies, 26 major sponsors, 6 Patron’s Club members, as well as around 500 individual and institutional donors, innumerable supporters.

Festival productions and commissions

Festival productions and commissions featured at the 42nd HKAF included: Iron Horse, Filth, Girl Talk and Red Chamber in the Concrete Forest from the New Stage Series; Before Brabant (concert version), all compositions in Images of Hong Kong and all works in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series. Other Festival commissions also included Romeo and Juliet (Chinese version) produced by National Theatre of China; and the co-commission of 108 Heroes III produced by Taiwan Contemporary Legend Theatre and College of Chinese Opera, Shanghai Theatre Academy.

Festival PLUS

222 Festival PLUS events included masterclasses, lecture demonstrations, talks, workshops, meet-the-artist sessions. Some notable examples included the much-loved movie Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake 3D; the Making of Magic Piano talk where producer Hugh Welchman explained how puppets were animated into film; two special walks under Hong Kong – Poetry in Motion, where participants were led to experience the literature through the eyes of the late poet Ya Si; the Festival’s first International Contemporary Dance Forum; and the HKAF Symposium: Structure and Success where distinguished speakers examined a subject which is pertinent to the local arts community and its development. There were over 21,000 participants in this year’s Festival Plus programmes and events.

Reaching out to young people

The Festival’s Young Friends Scheme remained popular amongst students this year with more than 7,567 members recruited from secondary schools and tertiary institutions. A total of 15,134 Young Friends Scheme participants attended 82 performances, rehearsals and educational specials, while another 20,776 attended 45 school tour showcases. Discount student tickets were in demand with more than 8,500 made available, fully supported by the Student Ticket Scheme.

With support of corporate sponsors, the Festival organised a wide range of outreach programmes via the Artists-in-Residence Project, school-based projects, as well as arts appreciation performances and workshops targeted at very young students. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust continued to sponsor special matinees, enabling over 3,200 students who seldom have the resources or opportunity to go to a formal performance, to attend two performances by the Igor Moiseyev Ballet. They were drawn from 66 community organisations and schools.

Highlights of the 43rd Hong Kong Arts Festival

Highlights of the line-up of the 43rd HKAF already announced include: Dutch National Ballet’s Cinderella; Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel; The Bolshoi Opera and Bolshoi Ballet; Staatskapelle Dresden under Christian Thielemann; The Amahs, a new play by Roger Lee, playwright of the award-winning film A Simple Life; Cassandra Wilson celebrating Billie Holiday’s centenary; and Barefoot Divas, indigenous voices from Australia, NZ & Papua New Guinea. More programme highlights will be announced in August and Advance Booking of the 43rd HKAF will start in October.

About the Hong Kong Arts Festival

Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the life of the city by presenting about 150 performances and 250 PLUS and educational events in February and March every year. The Festival presents the world’s top artists as well as stars of tomorrow and gives equal importance to great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists. Many Festival productions have had successful runs in Asia after their Hong Kong premiere. The Festival is a non-profit organisation, with about 30% of annual revenue from government funding, around 40% from the box office, and the remaining 30% from sponsorships and donations from corporations, individuals, and charitable foundations. For more information about the Hong Kong Arts Festival, please visit: www.hk.artsfestival.org.

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*Anonymous 4 concert on 11 March was cancelled on 7 March.


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