The 43rd Hong Kong Arts Festival closes today
reaching out to an audience of 111,700 in 137 performances
with 95% of tickets sold

(Hong Kong, 28 March 2015) The 43rd Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) celebrates its Official Finale today with a performance of Jewels by the Bolshoi Ballet. At the ceremony held after the performance, Guest of Honour, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, Acting Chief Secretary for Administration, toasts this major annual international event and highlight of Hong Kong’s cultural calendar.

Photo: Officiating Guests photographed at the 43rd Hong Kong Arts Festival’s Finale Toasting Ceremony. (From left to right: Ms Michelle Li Mei-sheung, Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services; The Hon Martin Liao, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Mr Tsang Tak-sing, Acting Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR; The Hon Ronald Arculli, Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society; Mr Chen Aiping, Chairman and Chief Executive of ICBC (Asia); Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival)

This year’s HKAF presents over 1,400 acclaimed artists from at home and around the world in 137 performances. A performance of Drama Queens by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is still to come, on 6 May 2015. A total of 16 new works/world premieres and 10 Asian premieres have been presented.

Of the 112,000 available tickets, over 106,000 tickets have been sold, representing an average attendance of 95%. The total audience number is estimated at 117,000, including 11,000 Young Friends. Among the 137 performances, 111* were attended by over 90%, 102 were at full capacity.

In addition to the wide array of performances, the HKAF presents, in its 43rd season, a total of 315 outreach events comprising: events for Young Friends, other education activities with schools and community groups, and PLUS for the general public.

The HKAF is a non-profit organization. In 2015, just under 30 percent of its annual income comes from the HKSAR Government through LCSD funding, about 40 percent from box office revenues, and over 30 percent from sponsorships and donations from corporations, individuals and charitable foundations including the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The Festival is grateful to have received support from the 2 main funding bodies, 29 major sponsors, 8 Patron’s Club members, over 500 individual and institutional donors, as well as innumerable supporters.

HKAF productions and commissions
The 43rd HKAF productions and commissions include: The Amahs; Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series: Datong - The Chinese Utopia; all works in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series; and the HKAF commission of The Crowd co-produced by the HKAF and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.

Festival PLUS
Festival PLUS continues to present a wide range of events including masterclasses, lecture demonstrations, talks, workshops and meet-the-artist sessions. Under the theme Women in the spotlight, this year’s Festival PLUS presents “Meeting Deborah Borda”, a talk where Borda shares her leadership experiences with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, “Dialogue with Mao Weitao”, where Mao tells how she manages her Zhejiang Xiaobaohua Yue Opera, and “Voices of Women” Photography Campaign. Another theme Searching for Utopia sees a host of films, talks, open rehearsal, backstage tour and an exhibition that explore the life of Kang Youwei and his idea of utopia in Chinese society, which enrich audience’s enjoyment of chamber opera: Datong – The Chinese Utopia. Highlights also include seven Bolshoi Ballet films (23 screenings) that complement its performances.

Reaching out to young people
HKAF’s Young Friends Scheme remains popular amongst students this year with more than 6,876 participants from secondary schools and tertiary institutions. They have attended a total of 57 performances, rehearsals and Young Friends Specials, while another 20,285 attended 63 school tour showcases and in-school workshops. Discount student tickets are in demand with 7,300 made available, fully supported by the Student Ticket Scheme.

With support of corporate sponsors, the HKAF organises 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 continues 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 Dutch National Ballet. They are drawn from 70 community organisations and schools.

Highlights of the 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival
Highlights of the line-up of the upcoming 44th HKAF in 2016 include: Teatro Regio Torino’s opera Simon Boccanegra and Requiem by Verdi; Staatsballett Berlin’s The Sleeping Beauty; Thomanerchor Leipzig and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig’s St Matthew Passion; Jingju Theater Company of Beijing’s The Artistry of Zhang Junqiu; and Compagnia Finzi Pasca’s La Verità (The Truth). More programme highlights will be announced in August and Advance Booking of the 44th HKAF will start in October.

About the Hong Kong Arts Festival (
Launched in 1973, the HKAF is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the life of the city. In February and March every year, the HKAF presents about 140 performances and serves an audience of close to 150,000. The HKAF features the world’s top artists as well as stars of tomorrow and gives equal importance to great traditions and contemporary creations. The HKAF also commissions and produces work in theatre, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists, a number of which have had successful runs in Asia after their Hong Kong premiere. Every year the HKAF also presents over 200 outreach events comprising: events for Young Friends, other education activities with schools and community groups, and PLUS for the general public. The HKAF is a non-profit organisation, with just under 30% of annual revenue from government funding, around 40% from the box office, and over 30% from sponsorships and donations from corporations, individuals, and charitable foundations.

For further enquiries, please contact Ms Katy Cheng, Marketing Director or Ms Alexia Chow, Marketing Manager at 2828 3555.

* Among the 137 performances, 112 were attended by over 90% as of 7 May 2015. 

Last update: 31 July 2015

Back to Press Releases