A Waka Odyssey, Family 23 Feb
As dusk falls, join a cast of thousands on Wellington’s stunning waterfront for the once-in-a-lifetime 2018 New Zealand Festival opening night event, Kupe.
Access, Theatre 24 Feb – 04 Mar
A sell-out London hit that tackles the big topics against an energetic backdrop of banter, boasting and African beats.
Access, Family 01 – 11 Mar
If this is the future of digital technology, then we like it. More than just screens, this is pure artful inspiration where you make the magic. Come and play.
Access, Artist Talks, Theatre 24 Feb – 01 Mar
The giddy atmosphere of 1920s Paris and Spain explodes from the stage in this unique dramatisation of Ernest Hemingway’s classic first novel, The Sun Also Rises.
Dance, Music 27 – 28 Feb
Meditative and explosive. Modern and spiritual. This remarkable fusion of martial arts, tai chi, contemporary dance, bold percussion and stunning visual effects will hook you in with its powerful, hypnotic pull.
Theatre 07 – 11 Mar
Watch a home, brimming with the stuff of life, evolve before your very eyes on stage in this interactive art installation with a twist – created by multi-award-winning actor, illusionist and inventor Geoff Sobelle.
Circus, Dance, Family 08 – 11 Mar
Whisk the whole family away to a village in Vietnam at À Ố Làng Phố – a circus show of extraordinary feats and infectious fun.
Dance, Theatre 03 – 04 Mar
This cutting-edge dance–theatre hybrid has taken international stages by storm. See why, in this, its final world tour performance. You won’t regret it – or forget it.
Artist Talk, Dance, Theatre 14 – 17 Mar
An extraordinary adaptation of the beloved classic. Soaring dance, boundary-busting theatre and song combine with live Irish folk music with a Nordic noir twist.
Artist Talks, Dance, Music 16 – 17 Mar
Revel in the world premiere of this epic dance work from one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed choreographers, Michael Parmenter, with The New Zealand Dance Company, inspired by the myth and music of Orpheus.
Music 24 Feb
Prepare for a rapturous night of spine-tingling music from the best early music performers in the world.
A Waka Odyssey, Family, Music 24 Feb
Join friends and whānau for a day of music, food and fun on the Petone Foreshore, as a magnificent fleet of waka land on the beach in part two of A Waka Odyssey celebrations.
Family, Music 10 – 11 Mar
For the first time ever, watch the original Star Wars: A New Hope with its spectacular Oscar-winning soundtrack performed live by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Music 03 – 04 Mar
The cult band’s cult band – in Wellington exclusively for two shows only. Grab this chance to submerge yourself in the Grizzly Bear sound.
Music 15 Mar
Celebrated for her mesmerising voice and interpretative depth, Grammy Award–winning Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter is one of the titans of grand opera and French chanson.
Music 13 Mar
Grammy Award–winner Cécile McLorin Salvant is the hottest voice in American jazz right now, and she’ll have you eating out of the palm of her hand.
Music 10 Mar
Join one of Britain’s greatest musical exports and the best choral voices in New Zealand for a musical trip from the Renaissance to now.
Theatre 16 – 18 Mar
Based on the experiences of children who lived through the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis, this thrilling, moving and surprisingly humorous drama portrays extreme events but through a child’s eyes.
Artist Talks, Dance 23 – 25 Feb
Drawing on the rich inspiration of the film The Piano, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is honoured to stage the world premiere of this new full-length dance work by Jiří and Otto Bubeníček.
Writers & Readers 08 Mar
We kick off 2018 Writers & Readers on International Women’s Day with a celebration of women, their words and their power to change.
Festival Club, Music 04 – 06 Mar
Feel the freedom and adventure of The Staves’ “gorgeous 1970s-roadtrip vibes” (The Sunday Times, UK) at an intimate New Zealand Festival Club gig.
Festival Club, Music 01 – 02 Mar
Bringing his considerable talents from Compton to Wellington, Thundercat will take you on a “wild odyssey” through an intoxicating cocktail of jazz, punk, hip hop, 80s yacht rock, psychedelia and funk.
Festival Club, Music 13 – 14 Mar
Seattle-based pop star Perfume Genius and his band bring to the New Zealand Festival his ferocious and sophisticated blend of American rock.
Theatre 28 Feb – 04 Mar
Who took the life of baby Ara? Challenging and thought-provoking, Bless the Child is a story of life and death, good versus evil, and an unflinching look at our society through a Māori lens.
Artist Talks, Music 16 – 17 Mar
Drums that strike themselves. Loudspeakers that pivot and pirouette. Pianos whose keys tap dance ghostly toccatas. Welcome to Mechanical Ballet, a brave new world where self-playing instruments rule.
Access, Artist Talk, Theatre 07 – 11 Mar
Samoan New Zealander Tusiata Avia’s poetry becomes a fearless and enchanting piece of theatre under the direction of Anapela Polataivao and a cast of six powerful Pasefika actresses.
Writers & Readers 09 Mar
In a time of rising extremism around the world, discover first-hand why former Islamist extremist Maajid Nawaz, political commentator Ali A Rizvi and activist Yasmine Mohammed are on a quest for peace and tolerance.
Access, Family, Music, Theatre 14 – 18 Mar
Peter is not supposed to leave his grandfather’s house. There are wolves lurking in the forest and it’s not safe. Follow Peter as he travels deep into the woods, vanquish your fear, but don’t look behind you ...
Music 17 Mar
Pianists Anderson & Roe are as much at home with Daft Punk as they are with Mozart. For their New Zealand premiere, this dynamic duo pairs Bernstein with The Beatles, Gluck with John Adams. It’s
Circus, Festival Club 15 – 16 Mar
“Every minute counts” (The Guardian) in Knee Deep, from Edinburgh Festival Fringe favourites Casus Circus. Come experience the thrilling push and pull of this cutting-edge circus for yourself.
Festival Club, Music, Theatre 07 – 08 Mar
Named the stand-out cabaret of the year by the New ZealandHerald, Valerie is gig-theatre at its finest.
Festival Club, Music 25 Feb
International jazz legends Nathan Haines and Jonathan Crayford join forces for a collaborative re-working of the Adagio form through the works of Bach, Stravinsky, Morricone and more.
Festival Club, Writers & Readers 11 Mar
Join an eclectic group of writers and Wellington personalities to fondly and raucously “roast” Tom Scott.
Music 27 Feb
In fascinating three-way conversations between contemporary New Zealand composers, pianist Stephen De Pledge and JS Bach we hear the 18th-century musical form of the Partita reimagined for the 21st century.
Festival Club, Music 24 Feb
Delivered in both te reo Māori and English over Pacific-inspired beats, Ria Hall will bring her raw and rootsy songs to life with the help of vocalist Mara TK and powerhouse Wellington trio The Nudge.
Access, Music 06 Mar
Conjuring a realm of light and dreams, Rob Thorne, a master of taonga pūoro, performs the world premiere of his Tomokanga with the New Zealand String Quartet.
Comedy, Festival Club 02 – 03 Mar
An award-winning show from Zoë Coombs Marr, one of Australia’s weirdest and wildest comedians.
Music 01 Mar
In this first and exclusive New Zealand performance, the trailblazing Orava Quartet brings its unique brand of passion and vitality to the classics of the string quartet repertoire.
Festival Club, Music 27 Feb
Samuel Scott and Lukasz Buda (together one third of The Phoenix Foundation) and James Milne (Lawrence Arabia) bring you a stripped back, band-free live show of some of their faves.
Music 09 Mar
Delight in the “flair, rigour and integrity” (New Zealand Listener) of New Zealand’s composition vanguard in collaboration with the Miyata-Yoshimura-Suzuki Trio and Ensemble Musikfabrik.
Festival Club, Theatre 03 Mar
Australia’s most popular live storytelling series, Barefaced Stories, lands in Wellington for one massive New Zealand Festival Club night.
Music 13 Mar
Concert organist Paul Rosoman performs in venues all over the world. Here, the acoustics of St Mary of the Angels make this the perfect venue for his musical reflection on war and peace with the Monarch Brass Collective.
Music, On The Road 25 Feb
Delivered in both te reo Māori and English over Pacific-inspired beats, Ria Hall will bring her raw and rootsy songs to life in Ōtaki with the help of vocalist Mara TK and powerhouse Wellington trio The Nudge.
Dance, Family, Music, Theatre 23 Feb – 05 Mar
A multi-award-winning collaboration, Rushes is an inter-arts experience like no other. Immerse yourself in this unique show where live music gig meets art gallery meets theatre, dance and film.
A Waka Odyssey, Festival Club, Music 28 Feb
At the end of every epic voyage is a great celebration, and the wrap party for A Waka Odyssey will be no exception – featuring golden-voiced Bailey Wiley and master of electronic funk Laughton Kora.
Festival Club, Music 24 Feb
With his smooth, rich-tone, relaxed delivery and elegantly regretful old-soul voice, Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi, aka Teeks, brings us an intimate New Zealand Festival Club gig.
Festival Club, Music 17 – 18 Mar
Born out of jazz school, the gifted Drax Project have grown from a music students’ busking project into one of the hottest tickets in town.
Writers & Readers 07 – 11 Mar
Feast your eyes on the best independent photobook publishing from New Zealand and around the world.
Writers & Readers 10 Mar
Can democracy be saved? Explore its birth, unfolding and the challenges it faces today with British humanist and philosopher AC Grayling.
From ultimate art school punk to Talking Heads frontman, David Byrne is a musical pioneer with a career spanning five decades and counting.
Comedy, Festival Club 17 Mar
With his first recorded comedy album under his belt and a winning stage presence, Georgio will have you in stitches.
Artist Talks, Theatre 27 Feb
Learn how director John Collins and the Elevator Repair Service ensemble brought the classic Ernest Hemingway novel to life in The Select (The Sun Also Rises) in this free, public post-show Artist Talk.
Artist Talks, Theatre 28 Feb
Meet the dynamic cast behind the five-star, UK smash-hit The Weta Digital Season of Barber Shop Chronicles at this free, public post-show Artist Talk.
A Waka Odyssey, Family, Kupe Dreaming, Theatre 24 Feb – 04 Mar
Kupe, the great Pacific explorer and navigator, is the hero of this lively, lyrical solo show by treasured local poet and storyteller Apirana Taylor.
Artist Talks, Theatre 10 Mar
Led by writer Tusiata Avia and director Anapela Polataivao, hear from the strong female voices behind Wild Dogs Under My Skirt in this free, public post-show Artist Talk.
Artist Talks, Dance, Theatre 15 Mar
Get up close and personal with the boundary-busting cast of The Wellington Airport Season of Swan Lake / Loch Na hEala in this free, public post-show Artist Talk.
Artist Talks, Dance 23 Feb
Discover what inspired the transformation of the much-loved, award-winning New Zealand film into The Piano: The Ballet in this free, public pre-show Artist Talk.
Artist Talks, Dance, Music 17 Mar
Hear how the myth and music of Orpheus inspired Michael Parmenter's new epic OrphEus – a dance opera in this free, public pre-show Artist Talk.
Artist Talks, Music 16 Mar
Delve into the fascinating world of self-playing, mechatronic music with the creative minds behind Mechanical Ballet in this free, public post-show Artist Talk.
Artist Talks, Music 24 Feb
Travel through time, cultures and continents with early music master Jordi Savall in a discovery of the ancient music of Spain and Mexico in this free, public pre-show Artist Talk.
Free, Visual Arts 23 Feb – 08 Apr
This exhibition brings to light the risks that climate change presents to Pacific Island women and the issues we share as Pacific neighbours.
Free, Visual Arts 17 Mar – 08 Jul
A celebration of the role the Pacific Sisters collective has played in giving voice and visibility to Māori and Pacific peoples in Aotearoa.
Free, Visual Arts 17 Mar – 31 Dec
An exploration of how abstract shape, colour and pattern have captured our imaginations in the Pacific, featuring a new immersive commission by Tiffany Singh.
Free, Visual Arts 17 Mar – 22 Jul
“Just because it’s jewellery doesn’t mean we have to clam up and be well-behaved.”
Free, Visual Arts 03 Mar – 15 Jul
Venice Biennale works by Michael Stevenson, Michael Parekowhai, Simon Denny and more.
Visual Arts 10 Feb – 15 Apr
Discover the amazing secrets behind the world’s most famous painting.
Free, Visual Arts 24 Feb – 24 Jun
How meaning and value are challenged through the often-surprising materials used in contemporary jewellery from Europe, America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Visual Arts 21 Feb – 15 Apr
Using the entire gallery as his stage, this new solo exhibition continues the artist's investigation into cinema and performance as mechanisms of violence and counterviolence.
Free, Visual Arts 25 Nov – 11 Mar
A thought-provoking and illuminating survey revealing one of New Zealand’s most innovative and subversive investigators of the possibilities of photography.
Free, Visual Arts 21 Feb – 01 Jan
A major new public sculpture will be launched for the opening of the Festival, created by internationally recognised, Auckland-based artist Ruth Watson, and commissioned by the Wellington Sculpture Trust.
Free, Visual Arts 01 Mar – 27 May
The 15th annual Adam Portraiture Award – New Zealand's premier portrait competition – exhibits the best in contemporary painted portraiture.
A Waka Odyssey, Family, Kupe Dreaming, Music 27 Feb
Pack a twilight picnic for a concert with a difference on Wellington’s popular Oriental Bay beach.
Artist Talks, A Waka Odyssey, Kupe Dreaming 27 Feb
A fascinating expert panel discussion about the first Pacific people's journey to Aotearoa.
A Waka Odyssey, Family, Interactive, Kupe Dreaming 24 Feb
Come and explore the navigation techniques used by the Pacific Peoples on their journey to Aotearoa in this special drop-in session at Te Papa's new learning lab, Hīnātore.
A Waka Odyssey, Kupe Dreaming 24 Feb – 18 Mar
Take an in-depth journey to discover Te Papa’s Māori taonga or treasures and enrich your understanding of what makes New Zealand’s Māori culture and traditions unique.
A Waka Odyssey, Kupe Dreaming 21 – 23 Feb
This conference will bring together a broad range of voices on climate change – from the science to the impacts on policy and public implications.
A Waka Odyssey, Kupe Dreaming 24 Feb – 02 Mar
Venture behind the scenes with expert Te Papa staff and get up close and personal with Māori and Pasifika waka taonga (treasures) on this strictly-limited tour.
A Waka Odyssey, Kupe Dreaming 28 Feb
Join us for a panel discussion as A Waka Odyssey's Pacific navigators share their stories, and insights into the dangers to oceans and animals. They will encourage us all to learn about the marine environment and ecology, and how we can get involved in protecting our oceans.
Visual Arts 19 Feb – 25 Mar
For the first time in Wellington City, more than 50 works by the current winners and finalists of the Wallace Art Awards are on display.
Culture Club event 01 Mar
Hosted by the New Zealand Festival’s own Artistic Director, enjoy conversations on Hemingway and the New York City theatre scene with the cutting-edge creatives and cast from The Select (The Sun Also Rises).
Culture Club event 02 Mar
Meet the artists behind Future Playground – some of the world's leading digital creators – and Wellington’s own creative tech legends at this behind-the-scenes industry event.
Writers & Readers 08 – 11 Mar
Grab your Take 5 Pass for 5 tickets to Writers & Readers events for just $75 (excluding special sessions). You get a 20% discount, plus you'll beat the rush with priority booking from Thursday 1 – Wednesday 7 February 2018.
Writers & Readers 09 Mar
Celebrated New Zealand novelist Lloyd Jones reveals his first new novel in seven years, the profound and unsettling tale The Cage.
Writers & Readers 09 Mar
Join gifted American comics creators Sarah Glidden and Mimi Pond as they show and tell their personal stories – from Middle East exploration to the ’70s Californian sex’n’drugs’n’diner scene.
Writers & Readers 09 Mar
Where does science leave off and magic begin? Explore with three leading lights of speculative fiction: Charlie Jane Anders, Cory Doctorow and Intan Paramaditha.