The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Tuesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Wellington
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
11° & CLOUDY ON TUESDAY 16 JULY IN WELLINGTON
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

New Zealand Festival Has Announced a Major Revamp for 2020

Including changes to the festival programming, a residency program and a new annual immersive event.
By Leah Maclean
December 11, 2018
  shares

New Zealand Festival Has Announced a Major Revamp for 2020

Including changes to the festival programming, a residency program and a new annual immersive event.
By Leah Maclean
December 11, 2018
  shares

Big changes are afoot for Wellington's biggest and most beloved arts festival. The biennial New Zealand Festival, which has presented such gems as Pina Bausch's Café Muller/Rite of Spring and the NZSO's Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert, has announced a major revamp of its operation.

The move is in a bid to reaffirm Wellington's title of New Zealand's creative capital and to enhance the city's creativity, innovation, and economy. Previously, the festival alone has brought in a cool $50 million, and not to mention some absolutely awe-inspiring artists.

Among the changes is a refresh in the actual festival programming. In 2020 (the next scheduled festival), audiences will be able to experience a festival curated by three practicing artists, all with international prowess. Each guest curator will present a week of fresh and engaging works, creating a diverse and inimitable experience for keen audiences. This is a bold shift for the festival, which has traditionally had only one curator. The first guest curator has been announced as Lemi Ponifasio, a stalwart dance theatre artist who has presented his works in the New Zealand Festival and other major arts festivals around the world.

The second major development is the Made in Wellington residency program. Made in Wellington creates an opportunity for artists to work on and produce a brand new work to be performed at the New Zealand Festival. Renowned Irish director and choreographer, Michael Keegan-Dolan, will kick off the first residency in early 2019 by spending six weeks in Wellington working with local collaborators/artists to produce a new dance work. If Keegan-Dolan sounds familiar, it's probably because you caught his extraordinary Swan Lake/Loch na hEala in the most recent festival.

The festival has also announced a new annual immersive event, Second Unit, which is set to take place on the Wellington waterfront in 2019. It's still very hush hush, but let's just say walking in the shoes of a film star may not just be a pipe dream.

Finally, a new organisational structure has been established to deliver arts events for Wellington. Tāwhiri, a name gifted by mana whenua, will deliver events such as the New Zealand Festival, Lexus Song Quest, Wellington Jazz Festival and the upcoming Second Unit.

These changes prove that the Wellington arts scene is heating up and we're in no danger of losing our creative capital crown anytime soon.

The next New Zealand Festival will take place from 21 February to 15 March, 2020, with the first lineup announcements to be made September 2019.

Published on December 11, 2018 by Leah Maclean

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x