It’s been an exciting few days as we work towards the ‘official’ opening day of the Festival, with pre-Festival performances from sublime music by Jordi Savall, two shows of the exquisite Rooman, the opening of exhibition Wai Water Wanaka and the first performance of Tree Dancer.

Theatre and music feature in today’s performances with My Dead Best FriendThe Road That Wasn’t There and Permission to Speak all opening tonight, plus one show only performances of Björk: All Is Full of Love and JFDR.

The Otago Daily Times reviewed Jordi Savall and Rooman.

Jordi Savall: “To have musicians of this calibre playing the last concert of their world tour in Wanaka is a real coup – a joyous and evocative treat and a delight to witness as well as hear.” Read the full review here

Rooman: “… endlessly inventive, startlingly original, and brilliant festival fare…” Read the full review here

Sound of The Tūī in Songs of Travel

As a teenager, composer Gareth Farr recalls discovered the sound of the tūī while on holiday in Queen Charlotte Sound. Last year he revisited the area and discovered the birds were still singing the same song.

That song features in the work ‘The Tūī‘, commissioned by Festival of Colour as part of a series of four New Zealand bird songs composed by Farr with poems by Bill Manhire and featuring in Songs of Travel performed by London-based NZ baritone Julien Van Mellaerts and pianist James Baillieu (pictured above) tomorrow at the Pacific Crystal Palace.

The three other birds featured in the work are the dotterel, takahē and the extinct huia. Read more about the creation of the work in the New Zealand Listener feature here.

Tickets available. Click here or buy tickets on the door.

Wednesday 3 April 12pm
Pacific Crystal Palace

Tree Dancer Impresses


Chloe Loftus “raised the bar for outdoor entertainment” with her uplifting performance in Tree Dancer high above Bullock Creek outside the Lake Wanaka Centre.

Otago Daily Times reviewer Nigel Zega was impressed with the performance.

“Dangling from a rope invisible against the darkening sky, Loftus was a floating, wind-touched fairy, a white flower unfurling in slow motion.

“Every movement was a masterclass in control and balance as she held perfect poses in, on and below branches, gliding between them with perfect precision.

“While every graceful gesture seemed effortless, any technical climber knows how much strain ropework involves. Despite appearances, Loftus is no delicate fairy, but an arboreal athlete.”

Wednesday 3 & Thursday 4 April 8pm
Bullock Creek (adjacent to Lake Wanaka Centre)


A quick guide to what’s on TODAY & TOMORROW. Book online / Door Sales available for most shows.

10am-5pm Wai Water Wanaka Lake Wanaka Centre FREE
6pm The Road That Wasn’t There Hawea Flat Hall OPENING NIGHT / LIMITED DOOR SALES
6.30pm Permission to Speak Wanaka Yacht Club OPENING NIGHT / LIMITED DOOR SALES
6.30pm Björk: All Is Full of Love Lake Wanaka Centre ONE SHOW ONLY / LIMITED DOOR SALES
8pm Tree Dancer Bullock Creek FREE
8.30pm My Best Dead Friend Rippon Hall OPENING NIGHT / NO DOOR SALES
8.30pm JFDR Pacific Crystal Palace ONE SHOW ONLY

Wai Water Wanaka Lake Wanaka Centre FREE
12pm Songs of Travel Pacific Crystal Palace
 The Road That Wasn’t There Hawea Flat Hall
 Wild Dogs Under My Skirt Lake Wanaka Centre ONE SHOW ONLY
 Permission to Speak Wanaka Yacht Club
 My Best Dead Friend Rippon Hall
 Tree Dancer Bullock Creek FREE
 The Māori Sidesteps Pacific Crystal Palace ONE SHOW ONLY
 Orpheus Gin and Raspberry ONE SHOW ONLY Book here

Wild Dogs Under My Skirt in Wanaka

Sold out at Auckland Arts Festival last month, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt comes to Wanaka.

Breathing new life into Tusiata Avia’s poetry and directed by award-winning director Anapela Polata’ivao, six powerful Pasifika actresses portray a deeply personal view of life as Pacific Island women.

“…wildly energetic and provocative” – NZ Herald

Limited tickets still available for this one night only performance.

Wednesday 3 April 6pm
Lake Wanaka Centre

Crux Local Democracy Project To Be Launched at Festival of Colour

In a world first, Southern Lakes community news website Crux is joining forces with a global pioneer in digital democracy – Ethelo.

The Local Democracy Project is designed to increase the power of the citizen. This is the first-time public interest journalism and a digital democracy platform have joined forces.  The founding principle of the project is that citizen engagement needs to be based on an educated and informed community. Read more here

FRINGE SHOW: Orpheus on Tomorrow Night


Hot on the heels of winning the coveted Best in Fringe Award at the Dunedin Fringe Festival, Orpheus comes to Wanaka for one night only.

The modern retelling of the ancient myth is an intimate performance, by innovative UK theatremakers Alexander Wright and Phil Grainger, and transports audiences through dive bars and late-night karaoke.

Wednesday 3 April 10pm
Gin & Raspberry