The 2017 programme is out now, and we’re pleased to reveal a packed seven-day programme featuring an exciting mix of theatre, visual art, dance, conversation and music from New Zealand and around the world.

We will open on Monday 3 April with ‘Flaming Arts’  bonfires, story-telling and song on Wanaka’s lakefront.

This year we are ‘bringing the world to Wanaka’ with seven international shows  and three international speakers including four hit shows from Edinburgh Festival Fringe – New York cabaret star Lady Rizo, worldwide smash hit Every Brilliant Thing, the funny and tender Irish one woman play How To Keep An Alien, and the enchanting Portraits in Motion.

New Zealand highlights including the hilarious Hudson & Halls Live, world premieres of Wanaka writer Annabel Wilson’s work No Science to Goodbye, New Zealand poet Bill Manhire’s song and music performance Tell Me My Name, a sing-off between four local choirs, and a full music programme in the popular Central Lakes Trust Crystal Palace.

Festival director Philip Tremewan says he is delighted to be able to present a programme bringing international acts to the Southern Lakes. “These international shows – award-winners from Edinburgh, and music from the United States, Canada, Germany and Australia – have been stand-out highlights for me and takes this year’s festival up a notch.

“I’ve also been very pleased to secure an excellent programme of New Zealand works with three world premieres taking place during the festival.”

There is also Aspiring Conversations, the festival’s literary, science and socio-political debating sessions. Speakers include scientist Siouxsie Wiles who tackles antibiotics and why bacteria are becoming more resistant, Lloyd Geering and Laura Williamson talking about cycling, and Rhodes Scholar Max Harris and Australian human rights campaigner Shen Narayanasamy tackle ways to change the world.

Also running throughout the Festival is Schoolfest, a programme for primary, intermediate and secondary school students with a variety of performances and workshops in local schools and on Saturday 8 April, award-winning clown Fraser Hooper takes theatre to the streets in Wanaka with his unique style of contemporary clowning – “a glorious concoction of ridiculous routines”.

Other free community shows include The Song Dispensary – a pop up venue in Wanaka where singing alchemists will dispense their songs, and a large video screen outside the Crystal Palace will feature a special dance work Roto by choreographer Louise Potiki-Bryant as well as one produced in conjunction with local high school students.

Take a look at the full programme here (link).

Priority booking for Patrons, Benefactors and Sponsors open now either online or on 022 4 849 669

Public ticket sales start Friday 17th February – online, phone or box office at the Lake Wanaka Centre will be open Friday 17th and Saturday 18th February from 8am to 6pm.


Word from our sponsors

Audience Alive are proud supporters of the Festival of Colour. We are also lovers of great visual & spoken performance! We are Presentation Design Specialists, Audience Engagement Experts, Public Speaking Trainers + Website & SEO Professionals. From our Queenstown & Dubai bases we spread news about Better Presentation Worldwide!



Wanaka’s premium property specialist Craig Myles is proud to be a sponsor of the Festival of Colour’s Aspiring Conversations. A leading licensee for NZ Sotheby’s International Realty, Craig has a deep knowledge of the Wanaka area and is passionate about supporting such a high-quality local event for the creative arts. For more information on the Southern Lakes’ premium property market, contact Craig on 021467585/03 443 2801 or email