Waitaki Arts Festival showcases local, national & international talent

Published on 12 September 2023

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This October Waitaki’s bright and busy arts community will come together for the district’s annual arts festival.

Festival director, Frances McElhinney is delighted to present such a strong line up, saying: “It’s great to see local and national artists combine to provide Waitaki with art experiences they can treasure, as well as letting people see just how creative the district is. This festival is created by our community”.

Kicking off with the Burns Memorial Art Exhibition, showcasing the best of the art from the district’s young people, this year’s festival on stage opens on Thursday October 12 with the Oamaru leg of the 360 ALLSTARS on their tenth anniversary world tour.

Seen by over 1 million people worldwide, 360 ALLSTARS show is described as urban circus, a fusion of BMX, basketball, breakdancing, beatboxing, acrobatics, drumming and digital display.

There’ll also be opportunities to hear from local writer Phillipa Cameron and even the opportunity to workshop your own writing at Janet Frame House, home of the famous author.

Music events involving the Rodger Fox Big Band in their 50th anniversary year and NZ hip-hop legend King Kapisi will feature at the Oamaru Opera House, and if something different is more your taste there’s a chamber music performance featuring a string quartet comprising national and international performers - the programme inspired by the Queenstown Lakes AWE Festival.

Elsewhere on stage there’s the choice of one-person-show Back To Square One, written, directed and performed by Anders Falstie-Jensen or a more local showcase of talent with The Future Is Now, presented by the Bedford School of Music Entertainment.

Art will take to the streets with street art mural work taking place along Thames Street, and the Waitaki Moa and Storybook Trails will take you a journey of sculpture and story.

Waitaki’s craftspeople and artists are also opening their workshop doors to the public, with the Meet the Maker Waitaki weekend across the 21st and 22nd of October.