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Wellington's Beloved Fringe Festival Will Still Go Ahead at Red Light

Festival organisers say they deliberately capped the first run of ticket sales to prepare for any traffic light changes.
By Sarah Templeton
February 01, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
February 01, 2022

After a slew of cancelled events and festival pivots, one major event on New Zealand's cultural calendar has announced it will be going forward even at red level.

The entire country was placed in red under the country's COVID-19 traffic light framework last month when cases of the highly contagious omicron variant were found in the community.

Since then, several major festivals have been canned due to capacity limits, including New Zealand Fashion Week and the Auckland Lantern Festival, while others like the Wellington Food and Wine Festival have been postponed.

But in great news for Wellington's particularly hard-hit arts community, the city's much-loved Fringe Festival will be going ahead even at red, thanks to some savvy forward planning from organisers.

Having run for the last 32 years, organisers say that the festival is in the "fortunate position" to be able to operate under any of the three levels of the traffic light framework.

"The NZ Fringe Team along with all of our incredible venues have been working for months, to ensure that we can still deliver our outstanding programme as safely as possible under red for both our amazing artist and audiences," festival director Vanessa Stacey said in a statement.

Capacity limits have all been reduced at venues, with organisers revealing the initial ticket releases were capped in case of a new red setting. This means all current ticket holders will be relatively unaffected by the change in traffic light setting.

As a way of supporting the arts community which has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, organisers this year included a new donation feature with ticket purchase, which meant audiences can add an extra $5 or $10 donation directly to the artist.

'The Birthplace of Brilliance' New Zealand Fringe Festival opens Friday, February 18 and runs until Saturday, March 12 in Pōneke, Wellington. Tickets are on sale now on the offical website

Published on February 01, 2022 by Sarah Templeton
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