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, with the full programme announcement on 17 October 2017.
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 featured 100 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 jazz guitar legend Bill Frisell, sultry story-telling vocalist Dianna Reeves and futuristic space-jazz pioneers The Comet is Coming.
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.
Next year's line-up will be announced from March 2018. Sign up now for email updates and keep up with Wellington’s vibrant jazz scene year-round on the Wellington Jazz Festival Facebook and Twitter pages.
Lock it in your diary now: the next Jazz Festival is 6–10 June 2018.
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