Promising to push boundaries, inspire, and delight Southland audiences, this year’s Southland Arts Festival is encouraging even more people to celebrate diversity and enjoy the best of creative arts.

The 2019 Southland Arts festival is being held from 10 April to 15 May 2019 and festival organisers are hoping its focus on accessibility and attempts to raise awareness of mental health, sexual misconduct and migration will entice more people to attend.

Festival director, Angela Newell said this year’s festival has secured events that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

“We have Deaf interpretation shows, a special showing of the circus arts inspired production of Human for 2000 school children, and shows that continue conversations around mental health, diversity and women’s rights,” she said.

The festival, now in its eleventh year, will open with The New Zealand Dance Company’s brand new work, Kiss The Sky.

The contemporary dance show is one of 15 events associated with the festival with a range of dance, theatre, music, comedy and storytelling on offer.

Newell said that while patrons could expect many entertaining and fun nights out, those looking for the festival’s growing hallmarks of edgy, provocative and innovative works, will not be disappointed.

“With Rob Mokaraka’s story, and the reflection of rape culture in our communities in Jane Doe, we’re offering raw and engaging events that will no doubt challenge those attending,” she said.

To further encourage the conversation about consent, a modified version of Jane Doe will be presented to Year 12 and 13 students called Yes Yes Yes

Newell said that in presenting shows to younger audiences, the festival is able to provide a forum for important conversations to be had. 

Tickets are available to be purchased online from TicketDirect or from local ticket outlets Southland Chamber of Commerce, the Invercargill City Council Booking Office and from ILT Stadium Southland.

Thanks to the generosity of local funders, prices to the festival events are very reasonable and Newell urged people to make the most of it.

“We’ve got some of the best production houses in the country bringing their latest work to Southland, so April and May is going to be an outstanding month for entertainment in the city that you won’t want to miss,”