The Festival Organisers

The Arts Festival of Southern Africa has some stellar personnel doing the organising and the direction of the festival. 

Click on the pictures below to find out a bit more about them.

Robin Hogarth Cindy Gosteli Dave Shell John Fresk
Ryan Bysshe Tony Horn

Robin Hogarth
Grammy Award winner, Robin Hogarth, helped found the Arts Festival of Southern Africa after having been the Executive Director of the Saint Hill International Arts Festival (UK) for some years. With over 60 albums to his name, Robin is a long standing composer and producer of music on the world stage, particularly for film and TV, and a specialist in Southern African music. His music has been used in TV, film and radio productions in more than 20 countries around the world. Over the past fifteen years, Robin has produced a series of music albums tracing the traditional music of vanishing civilizations, as well as producing for one of the largest catalogues of African traditional and folk music in the world. With a stellar history in the world of music, Robin first received a 2007 Grammy Award for the production of the Soweto Gospel Choir's worldwide hit album, "Blessed," in the category 'Best Traditional World Music Album', and then a 2008 Grammy award for the production of the Soweto Gospel Choir album, 'African Spirit’ in the same category. In 2011 he was again Grammy nominated for the co-production of another Soweto Gospel Choir album, ‘Grace’. Robin is an inspiration to the Arts Festival, is the chief goal maker, and has been a driving force behind it all. For more information about Robin's work and achievements, take a look at his website at
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Cindy Gosteli
After having been a member of the Arts Festival Committee for the past 3 years, Cindy has now taken a massive leap and taken the reins as ED! In the past,  she very successfully took full responsibility for all the Festival promotion and marketing - a daunting task that she handled with professionalism and a much-needed quirky sense of humour! Hailing from a multi-talented artistic family, Cindy is no exception to the rule when it comes to artistic excellence. Undeterred after not being allowed to take a 7th subject in high-school, Cindy took up Art as an extra-curricular activity, a subject she very quickly excelled in. She went on to study Interior Design at the Tshwane University of Technology, again excelling in subjects such as fine arts, graphic design, architectural drawing, photography, model building, typography and more. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design - Cum Laude no less! Although she displays an exceptional and multi-talented ability in everything she applies her hand to, her favourite style is pencil sketching, and she has a keen interest in working with mixed mediums. She also confesses to having a "weird affinity" for professional graffiti! Cindy lends that "something special" to the Arts Festival Committee.
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Dave Shell
Dave Shell, Deputy Executive Director of the Arts Festival Committee, has been involved with Creative Arts for more than 30 years, virtually from when it was started by Chris Dresser all those years ago. More recently, he has been part of the annual Arts Festival and has been on the Executive Committee for the last five years and has seen the Festival go from strength to strength. He has great empathy for the arts and artists, and nothing gives him greater pleasure than to see budding artists perform and gain confidence in themselves. The Arts Festival gives everyone the opportunity to discover and expand their creative talents and Dave says there is nothing that beats seeing people becoming aware of the creative talents they have and then using them to communicate with others.
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John Fresk
John took the reins of  the Artistic Director post of the Arts Festival of Southern Africa in 2010. A superb, classically trained pianist (with popular, rock and jazz experience) John's colourful and successful career spans 25 years of professional international performance and recording. John is also a composer and song-writer, and was a Grammy nominee for an album entitled "Heavenly Brother," a tribute to the late Martin Luther King. He has worked closely with prominent international artists, including jazz icon, Chick Corea, and Bobby McFerrin (of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" fame). John hails from the Northwest United States, but has been resident in Johannesburg for the past three years. He first performed at the Arts Festival in 2007, and was an immediate hit with the audience who were thrilled with his artistry on the piano and amazed at his ability to get on stage with artists that he had never played with before and make incredible music with them. This popularity has grown over the years, and John is in great demand, both as a solo artist, as well as part of the piano/vocal duo, John and Ryan. Most recently, John has served as arranger locally for Harry Sideropoulos and has just completed a Classic FM soiree with Dutch violinist, Tim Kliphuis. He now brings his years of professional experience to the organisational side of the Arts Festival as the Artistic Director. For more information about John, have a look at and
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Ryan Bysshe
Ryan Bysshe has performed for audiences for as long as he can remember. After graduating Cum Laude with two degrees in business and IT, Ryan took the helm of the Church of Scientology Johannesburg North for 5 and half years. He is now following his other passion of music with one of his ventures being the other half of the new class act, “John & Ryan” with music virtuoso John Fresk. Ryan assisted in the founding of Creative Arts Joburg North, and continues with this activity in addition to his current artistic profession. Ryan also teams up with John as an Artistic Director on the Committee of the Arts Festival of Southern Africa and has contributed his own special creative flair to our activities over the last two years.
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Tony Horn
Our finance man! Some may describe Tony as quiet, unassuming and modest. Others might say reserved. We say efficient, capable, gracious and above all, professional! Tony has held the finance reins of the Arts Festival for the last 3 years. One might think that there cannot be much artistry in finance, but the manner in which Tony miraculously ensures we have the energy and resources to pull off what we do each year can only be described as "magic", and therein lies his Artistic talent! Besides the Financial portfolio he holds on the Committee, Tony always pitches in and helps in other areas - he is the gentle force in the Reception tent throughout the festival keeping his eye on everything and always ready with a huge smile and a quiet reassurance that everything will be okay! Every team has a quiet (and sometimes unacknowledged) hero, and Tony Horn is certainly that for the Arts Festival of Southern Africa!
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