The fifth Festival of Colour came to a close today after a week of sell-out performances, standing ovations bringing some of New Zealand’s leading musicians, actors and artists to the Southern Lakes region.
The festival’s success saw over 12,000 tickets sold and 50 performances sold out at venues in Lake Wanaka, Queenstown, Cromwell and the surrounding Southern Lakes area. Audiences were treated to performances by such Kiwi greats as Don McGlashan, Bill Manhire and Michael Houstoun. They were challenged during thought-provoking Aspiring Conversations sessions by Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersch, Lloyd Geering and Nicky Hager. And they were the first to see two world premieres in music and theatre with Between Darkness and Light and Tracing Hamlet.
Festival director, Philip Tremewan said he was delighted with how the latest Festival of Colour had been received by audiences of all ages.
“I’m really thrilled by the success of this festival. It’s been wonderful winning new audiences – younger people and lots more people from outside the area. Plus there have been some tremendous shows that have really touched people’s hearts. Poetry and Song followed by Songs to Leave Behind both touch on quite deep topics but in exquisitely beautiful ways. My favourite moment was when Bill Manhire starting reading Rain and as he starting reading the rain started hammering down on the roof of the Crystal Palace!
“We can’t wait to build on this success and already we’re talking to performers about ideas for 2015 and there are some great things cooking up. “
The closing day took audiences on a journey through music, politics and theatre starting with a Sunday brunch by the award-winning Amiria Grenell. In stark contrast, the next women to take the stage in the Central Lakes Trust Crystal Palace were three young politicians there to debate the challenges in engaging the youth generation – Nikki Kaye, Jacinda Arden and Julie Anne Genter. While from three different political parties, all agreed that there was a need for a different style of democracy where young people felt they could have their voice heard and that their voice makes a difference with the role of social media becoming ever more important.
Laughter, music and madness filled the Lake Wanaka Centre with the final performance of Beautiful Losers, inspired by Jack Kerouac’s ground-breaking novel On the Road.
The Festival of Colour always finishes on a high and this year was no exception. The previous night the Electric Wire Hustle Family had Queenstown audiences dancing in their seats and in Wanaka the band’s raw energy on stage also brought the crowd to their feet to conclude another successful Festival of Colour.