The Southland Arts Festival is back for its tenth year and is celebrating by bringing some of the best of New Zealand Arts to the region.

A range of theatre, story-telling, dance, comedy, music and interactive events are part of the festival programme that will run from Wednesday, 25 April to Sunday, 20 May.

Venture Southland creative projects manager and festival director Angela Newell is excited to bring the 2018 festival to life. 

“We have created a diverse, fun and sophisticated programme that will delight Southland audiences,” Newell said.

The festival has established itself as a favourite in the Southland events calendar and has over the years been treated to world class acts like Tape Face and Ali Harper.

Newell says that the festival gives Southlanders the chance to experience creative performers before they become known all over the world.

Southland Arts Festival Logo

This year the festival has secured some edgy new shows that celebrate feminism, self-expression and popular culture.

This includes Soft ’n’ Hard, which examines the role of gender in society, and If There’s Not Dancing At The Revolution, I’m Not Coming, which will challenge the treatment of women’s bodies in popular culture.

Newell is looking forward to Southlanders embracing these new shows alongside the more traditional dance, comedy and musical performances on offer.

The festival includes 40 events showcasing 22 shows in ten towns across the Southland region.

Alongside travelling across the region the festival is also promoting inclusive and family-friendly shows that allow the arts to be enjoyed by all.

Part of this is White Night that will see the inner city transformed into an innovative and interactive arts space on Saturday, 5 May.

Following on from its debut success last year Newell is encouraging people to take part in the event.

“There is something magical about walking around the inner city and seeing children dancing to local musicians, crowds gathering around local storytellers and different forms of art on the walls and streets,” Newell said.

The Southland Arts festival will begin on ANZAC day (Wednesday, 25 April) with the Repertory Invercargill production of The Last Five Years.

Electronic programme can be found online here