What is young friends?

The Young Friends of the Hong Kong Arts Festival is an integrated arts education and audience development programme designed to nurture students’ interest in the arts. The Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund has been supporting Young Friends since its establishment in 1992. The  scheme has been an outstanding success, proving to be very popular among students.

Young Friends offers its members the opportunity to attend two Festival programmes or rehearsals. In addition, the Young Friends organises various workshops, talks and backstage tours to enhance the appreciation of performing arts. The 2017/18 Young Friends has recruited over 6,300 members from 156 secondary schools and 41 tertiary institutions, and Young Friends activities have reached over 18,000 students.

As of 2018, Young Friends has effectively utilised resources offered by the Festival and sponsors to produce a series of arts education programmes, reaching out to a remarkable number of 750,000 students and around 160,000 Young Friends.

Young Friends Benefits

Full-time students of local secondary or tertiary schools aged 25 or below are eligible to apply for Young Friends membership between September and November. The membership runs from September to August, allowing members to enjoy an all-round arts experience that is multi-disciplinary and interactive, enriching their knowledge of and interest in the arts:

Two Choices of Festival Programme(s), Rehearsal(s), or Young Friends Special Performance(s)

Enjoy two 2019 Festival performance(s), Young Friends special performance(s) or rehearsal(s) including Touching the VoidGangster of Hong Kong, and The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by Beijing LiLiuyi Theatre Studio, etc.

*For details about the 2019 Hong Kong Arts Festival programmes, please go to www.hk.artsfestival.org .

Multi-arts Activities

Multi-arts Experience

Join workshops, lecture demonstrations, masterclasses, pre- and post-performance talks, backstage tours, etc., or participate as a Young Friends Reporter to capture precious moments of creativity.

Mentorship Scheme

Attend Festival programmes with our Young Friends Alumni, who will share their artistic insights and engage you in thought-provoking discussions!

Discounts and Benefits

Explore more opportunities to connect with the arts by enjoying free or discounted tickets offered by various companies and art groups. Other special offers include discounts on books, stationery, music scores and purchase of musical instruments.


Young Friends members will be offered discounts at the following stores, upon presentation of a valid 2018/19 membership card.

The Artland Co. Ltd.

10% discount (except special items)
3/F Lockhart Centre, 301-307 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.

Parsons Music Limited

5% discount off for any purchase on books, musical instruments and accessories (regular-prized and selected models excluded)
$1000 discount for selected piano
Waiver of registration fee for new students
(Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers) 

Arts Administration Experience

Young Friends Volunteer

Get behind-the-scenes with Young Friends team in promotion and publicity, programme coordination and administration to gain valuable work experience.

Young Friends Reporter

Interview the artists and capture precious moments of the rehearsals, performances, and other arts activities of various art groups and artists.

Summer Activities

Interested to learn more about the arts, or have a taste of arts administration? Join our summer activities that will stimulate your creativity and enhance your arts appreciation.

Programme Appreciation Guide

Appreciation Guide

To enhance students’ art appreciation, we produce a series of 2019 Festival programme appreciation guides which will be delivered to over 80 secondary schools.

Let’s Explore

Preparation adds to your enjoyment! Read the programme information, appreciation guide and venue information specially tailored for you.

As a conclusion to the year-round membership, outstanding Young Friends members and top participating schools are invited to the Outstanding Young Friends Prize Presentation Ceremony. They are rewarded for their contribution and are invited to the Festival performance following the ceremony.

Online platforms are in place to enhance communication between Young Friends and its members:

Young Friends E-news

Latest updates about Young Friends activities, arts news and tips.

Young Friends Facebook Page

Young Friends Instagram Page

A place to share Festival experiences and meet new friends.

Many of our Young Friends members continue to pursue their love of the arts even though they are no longer eligible to renew their membership. If you are one of them and would like to reconnect with us, join Young Friends Alumni - this life-long membership will allow you to enjoy special offers, to participate in our activities, and to receive regular updates of the arts scene.

Past Activities

Young Friends has connected numerous young people with the performing arts. Were you there? Here are some highlights of past Young Friends activities:

Artists' Stories

Young Friends interviewed local artists including jewelry designer Ms Lo Kai-yin, comic writer Apink, ceramicist Ms Emma Chan, graphic designer Mr Wilson Tang, musician Ng Cheuk-yin and photographer Mr Cheung Chi-wai, among others, to learn more about their creative processes.

School Tour

Local theatre practitioners such as Lo's Production and Mannequin were commissioned to design interactive school performances, which introduced upcoming Festival programmes and Young Friends membership to 40 secondary schools each year.

The Artists-in-Residence Project

Visiting artists from arts groups such as the Red Leap Theatre and the Birmingham Royal Ballet were brought into local schools to conduct workshops allowing students to explore and develop their creativity.

Festival PLUS Activities

Young Friends interacted with Festival artists from the English National Ballet, St Thomas Boys Choir, Cantonese Opera Treasures and cast members of The Truth About Lying.

Arts Management Tours

Young Friends joined arts management tours to meet with local arts administrators and look into how performances are put onstage.

Summer Workshops

Young Friends engaged in various performing art forms in summer workshops. Some of the interesting workshops included the "Arts in Play" Theatre Workshop, Sonic Landscape Workshop, Hungarian Folk Dance Workshop, Create Music Workshop and the Doo-Wop Contemporary a cappella Workshop.

The Outstanding Young Friends Prize Presentation Ceremony

Outstanding Young Friends and schoolteachers from top participating schools are invited to the annual ceremony held during the Festival period, celebrating another successful year of Young Friends.
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