Festival opens with bonfires and song

Welcome to the seventh Festival of Colour – it’s been a busy few days at Festival HQ and we’re delighted to see our audiences loving the shows already gracing our various stages.

More than 850 people turned out on a beautiful evening on Monday night for the opening night event ‘Flaming Arts – Bonfires on the Waterfront’ with Mt Aspiring College Year 9 student Jacob Field lighting the first of three bonfires. Singing from choirs, poetry from Bill Manhire and music and song from The Song Dispensary followed. Yesterday was our first full day of the Festival and there was plenty on offer to entertain all. Our schools programme continued with the delightful show Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.

Volker Gerling has been charming audiences bringing a touch of Europe to Wanaka with his show Portraits in Motion. Volker has been out in Wanaka with his ‘Hawker’s tray’ showing people his flipbooks. Volker has one final show today at 5pm with a few tickets still available. We caught up with him today.

At Luggate, standing ovations concluded both performances of Every Brilliant Thing – a beautiful show which Festival long-standing volunteer Sue Webb described as “every brilliant thing. It really is something very special.” We’ve managed to squeeze a few extra seats into the hall, but be quick to grab these final tickets for the final shows today at 3pm and 6pm, and tomorrow at 12 noon and 3pm.

The Festival’s music programme kicked off with four very different shows yesterday. A special highlight was Sing It To My Face featuring four choirs of 79 local singers of four different generations singing about their feelings about each generation and about the world – past, present and future. Moving, funny and wonderful.

Meanwhile in the Central Lakes Trust Crystal Palace Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes had us all tapping our toes, and grooving to the beat. Tonight, Warren Maxwell, Louis Baker and Thomas Oliver feature in Pass The Gat, while tomorrow soul and country meet gospel and backwater blues in Tami Neilson – Songs for Singers.

And don’t miss the world premiere of Tell Me My Name – riddles written by poet Bill Manhire, set to music by Norman Meehan with violinist Martin Riseley and sung by Hannah Griffin. One performance only at the Central Lakes Trust Crystal Palace TODAY at 1.00pm!

A word from our sponsors

As the electricity distributor for Dunedin and Central Otago, Aurora Energy is proud to support the high levels of creative energy the Festival of Colour brings to the region. For more information about Aurora Energy please visit www.auroraenergy.co.nz.

 Our knowledge partner, global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, is excited to be returning to the festival for the third time. This year the firm and its guests will be reflecting on the evolution of Customer Experience in the Digital Age.