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 2018 New Zealand Festival was one of our biggest yet with around 300 performances, including seven world premieres. We welcomed 1000 artists from 27 countries to Wellington and more than 100,000 people enjoyed free and paid events. It also included the Writers Week and SchoolFest programmes. We’re now busy on our next Festival, 21 February – 15 March 2020.
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 Festival
With its reputation for innovation, the Festival also presents the annual Wellington Jazz Festival.
The 2018 Jazz Festival features nearly 150 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 this year include legendary jazz bassist Christian McBride, groundbreaking drummer Chris Dave & The Drumhedz, sultry bossa-nova inspired vocalist Gretchen Parlato and the extraordinary John Beasley's MONK'estra.
Past headliners have included Bill Frisell, Dianne Reeves, 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.
Lock it in your diary now: the 2018 Jazz Festival is 6–10 June.
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 on Saturday 28 July 2018 at the Auckland Town Hall.