New Zealand Festival
Committed to originality, excellence and making the world a better place through art, the New Zealand Festival every second year transforms Wellington into a buzzing culture zone with three weeks of the finest international and home-grown music, theatre, dance, visual art and writers.
The 2016 New Zealand Festival featured more than 400 performances, including seven world premieres of new New Zealand work. We welcomed 1200 artists from 25 countries to Wellington and more than 110,000 people enjoyed free and paid events. It also included the Writers Week and SchoolFest programmes. We’re now busy on our next Festival, 23 February – 18 March 2018.
No other New Zealand city buzzes like Wellington at Festival-time. Like Edinburgh, Avignon and other compact festival cities around the globe, Wellington’s geography, lively central city and diverse and culturally engaged population make it the ideal location for an event like ours. That’s one of the many reasons Wellington City Council invests in the Festival as the headline cultural event in the capital.
Wellington Jazz FestivalWith its reputation for innovation, the Festival also presents the annual Wellington Jazz Festival.
The 2016 Jazz Festival featured 140 international and New Zealand gigs over five days, turning up the heat in the capital’s famous Cuba Quarter and beyond with relaxed afternoon sessions and riotous late-night jams. Headliners included Wayne Shorter Quartet, Lisa Fischer and Snarky Puppy.
Past headliners have included Chick Corea, the Joshua Redman Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Irvin Mayfield with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Chucho Valdez, Cassandra Wilson and Sonny Rollins.
The next Jazz Festival is on 7–11 June 2017.
Lexus Song Quest
The exciting and prestigious Lexus Song Quest singing competition is another of the Festival’s presentations.
The Lexus Song Quest is a proven springboard for young singers and has helped to launch the international careers of previous winners such as Kiri Te Kanawa, Malvina Major, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Jonathan Lemalu.
The next Song Quest final is in July 2018.
Special Events – Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
It’s been described as the greatest show on earth, a performance of such epic scale that it takes an army of personnel to coordinate. For just the fourth time in its 65-year history, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo left Scotland to perform down under.
The first time the Tattoo was performed outside of Scotland was in New Zealand in 2000 as part of the New Zealand Festival (formerly the New Zealand International Arts Festival), with tickets selling out in two days.
The 2016 show (18-21 February) featured traditional Scottish favourites including the UK’s best precision drill teams, pipers, fiddlers and highland dancers, but also numerous performances from both military and civilian cultural groups from countries outside of Britain. In keeping with our commemorative events and activities around the World War I centenary, the 2016 Tattoo included a moment that commemorated the spirit of the ANZACs.
Revisit some of the photo highlights from the 2016 event.