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Locals lure crowds to Festival of Colour

Locals lure crowds to Festival of Colour

March 27, 2017. For immediate release

A record number of Southern Lakes locals will participate in the acclaimed Festival of Colour, which kicks off in Wanaka next week.

Known as New Zealand’s ‘best little arts festival’, the seventh biennial event launches on Monday, April 3 with bonfires, storytelling and song on Wanaka’s lakefront. More than 160 locals are either performing, volunteering or working behind the scenes in the 10-day festival, which presents 48 exceptional events showcasing the best in New Zealand and international music, dance, theatre, comedy and visual arts.

Festival of Colour general manager Lindsey Schofield says community support – in the form of both participation and ticket sales – has been strong.

“The Festival of Colour is a fantastic event that has always been embraced by the Wanaka community and this year’s festival is particularly special as we have so much local talent involved,” she says. “The performances that we stage and the high level of local participation is a big part of why so many grant makers support us – we really tap into the grassroots community. We bring in industry professionals at the top of their game each year to work with locals in a community production, which means that it’s a wonderful opportunity for our local participants and shows are guaranteed to be top class.”

Tickets have already sold out for the two Wanaka performances of local writer Annabel Wilson’s play, No Science to Goodbye. Wilson says she is looking forward to its world premiere next week.

“After a successful showing of moments from the piece at Rippon Hall last year, I’m excited to share the full-length work with my community,” she says. “It’s a local story, the idea for which first came to me five years ago while working on my Masters in Creative Writing, via distance learning. For me, it’s important the show has its premiere in the place that inspired it.”

Top Southern Lakes creatives also feature in The Blue Moments Project, a collaboration between composer Angela Mote-Andrews, writer Laura Williamson and singer Karen Hattaway with musicians Dominic Stayne, Jeff Sinnott and Graeme Perkins

Luggate-based Williamson, who also appears in the Aspiring Conversations series discussing bikes with Sir Lloyd Geering, says she is excited to be part of the 2017 programme after attending every festival thus far.

“The Blue Moments Project has been several years in the making and it’s going to be a pleasure to have the premiere in Wanaka at the Festival of Colour, a highlight of the arts calendar in this area,” she says. “That I’m also getting the chance to talk bikes with Lloyd Geering is a testament to the range of offerings at the festival – poetry, sports, jazz, comedy, it’s all there. It sort of turns Wanaka into New York for a few days, but with better views.”

Up to 80 local singers, aged between eight and 80, will be performing in Sing It To My Face, a revealing intergenerational sing-off in which four choirs express how they really feel about today’s society, on Tuesday, April 4.

As well as performances by Southern Lakes locals, the Festival of Colour presents a range of top NZ and international acts. Focal points of the programme include New York-based cabaret singer Lady Rizo, Edinburgh Festival Fringe winner Sonya Kelly in her funny and tender play How to Keep an Alien!, the worldwide smash hit show Every Brilliant Thing and NZ favourites Hudson & Halls Live!, country singer Tami Neilson and electronica legend Paddy Free. The 35-strong Christchurch Symphony Orchestra will also perform in a one-off show at the Lake Wanaka Centre on Sunday, April 8.

As part of the popular Aspiring Conversations series, scientist Siouxsie Wiles considers the future of antibiotics, photographer Joe Michael and scientist Tim Naish discuss Antarctica, and former Prime Minister Jim Bolger and historian Vincent O’Malley remember the Waikato War which shaped New Zealand.

The full Festival of Colour programme is available at Tickets can be purchased via the website or by calling 022 4 TIX NOW (022 4 849 669).


Photo caption:

Wanaka creatives Annabel Wilson and Laura Williamson will showcase their work in the 2017 Festival of Colour.

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Celia Crosbie – Scope Media | 021 816 812 |

About the Southern Lakes Festival of Colour:
Known as New Zealand’s ‘best little arts festival’, the seventh Southern Lakes Festival of Colour takes place on April 4-10, 2017. Held biennially, the Festival brings an outstanding programme of local, national and international arts to the Southern Lakes region, including world-class music, dance, theatre, comedy, visual arts and the renowned Aspiring Conversations. The Festival is supported by cornerstone funders Creative New Zealand, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Longview Environmental Trust. Gold sponsors are Aurora and Milford Asset Management. Visit for full details of the programme. Tickets are on sale to the general public on Friday 17 February via the website or by calling 022 4 TIX NOW (022 4 849 669).

Rebecca Williamson
Written by Rebecca Williamson
An accomplished writer and editor, Rebecca has worked for NZ’s top-selling magazines and publications, and honed her PR communications skills in Melbourne. She brings extensive insider knowledge of NZ and international media, knows how to craft compelling copy, and can get your story or organisation noticed.