27 Jan 2011
Auckland Arts Festival today announced a comprehensive line-up of free events for arts lovers of all ages and interests as part of the 2011 Festival, which takes place March 2-20.
Free events complement Auckland Arts Festival's main ticketed programme, with main bill artists such as U Theatre of Taiwan, the Lautten Compagney, Witi Ihimaera, Douglas Wright, Jack DeJohnette, Sarah Lucas, and more adding free performances, workshops and talks to their Festival schedules.
Auckland Arts Festival Artistic Director David Malacari says he is delighted by the 2011 line-up of arts and entertainment experiences - many involving the very best international and local practitioners.
"Free events are a key element in engaging the wider community," David Malacari says. "They introduce new audiences to the arts, often people who have never had the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful experiences on offer at a major multi-arts festival.
"This free programme is an invitation to all Aucklanders (and New Zealanders) to get involved in the Festival; for Festival novices to take the plunge into a new world, and for experienced festival-goers to add to something new and different to their Festival experiences."
Free daily activities are centred at Aotea Square, which will be reinvented as the Festival Garden, an inviting performance and entertainment space with four hubs; the glamorous Spiegeltent, the Garden Theatre, the TV3 Garden Stage, and the Stoneleigh Bar. The Garden boasts plenty of space to chill out on the lawn or under an umbrella, and soak up the Festival atmosphere. Free to enter, and open late into the night during the Festival, the Garden is home to a mix of free and ticketed events.
New to Auckland Arts Festival in 2011 is the TV3 Garden Stage, which hosts a free daily music programme of top local and international acts. Starting at 5pm on weekdays, and 2pm in the weekend, the line-up encompasses world music, contemporary and classical music. Artists include Flip Grater, Sean Donolly, Barons of Tang (on their way to WOMAD), LUPIN, the Lautten Compagney, Arte Kanela, NZTrio and a host of well known local DJs.
Four free programmes of short films from top Kiwi filmmakers will screen under the stars in the Festival Garden, as part of Movies in Parks. And on weekday lunchtimes, the Spiegeltent is host to the 'In Conversation' series, with some of the Festival's most exciting artists sharing their ideas and inspirations.
The middle weekend of Auckland Arts Festival features two major free events for the whole family. On Saturday, 12 March (the evening of Pasifika) galleries and museums across greater Auckland open their doors until midnight for the inaugural White Night festival. A must-attend for contemporary art buffs and a great evening out for families, White Night sees Auckland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, MOTAT, Auckland Library, the Voyager Maritime Museum, all the galleries in the Festival programme, plus a host of other venues and institutions hosting special exhibitions, family activities, and performances - including a line-up of events presented in partnership with the Pasifika Festival.
Parents should mark Sunday, March 13 in their diaries now; for the middle weekend of Auckland Arts Festival the arts enthusiasts of tomorrow take over the Festival Garden. From 10am-4pm, the Free Festival Garden Party has activities, music, performances, Storytime in the Spiegeltent and more. Ticketed events for families include the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's Family Concert, musical magician Lindsey Pollak's brilliantly inventive Passing Wind concert, and the spectacular Vietnamese Water Puppets.
Auckland Arts Festival Chief Executive David Inns says that the depth and breadth of the free programme is made possible by the support of a dynamic family of funders and sponsors, including Auckland Council, the ASB Community Trust, The Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, Heart of the City and TV3.
"The free programme is part of our commitment to ensuring accessibility to Auckland Arts Festival for all Aucklanders, and is made possible by the terrific partnerships between the Festival and its sponsors and funders - and other cultural institutions."
Auckland Arts Festival offers local arts practioners the chance to get up close and personal with the cream of the arts community, with a programme of free and low cost workshops that the public are welcome to attend - for free - as observers. Artists involved include Gregory Maqoma, Jack DeJohnette, Massive Company, the Lautten Compagney and more.
Auckland Arts Festival also runs a major schools programme, offering amazing arts experiences at low cost ticket prices to primary and secondary school students - to date more than 4000 tickets to events as diverse as Maguy Marin's May B and The Manganiyar Seduction have been snapped up by schools as far afield as Kaikoura. Other free and low cost events can be found in the Auckland Fringe - a satellite fringe festival that is a joint venture between Auckland Arts Festival and THE EDGE.
TOP TEN WAYS TO FESTIVAL ON A BUDGET
Visit www.aucklandfestival.co.nz for the latest details
- Drop by the Festival Garden in Aotea Square after work (from 5pm), or in the weekends (from 2pm) to enjoy a free music concert from top international and local acts performing on the TV3 Garden Stage. Styles range from contemporary to classical to world music. The Stoneleigh Bar will be open for a glass of wine in the sun.
- Put White Night (March 12) into your diary, and plan to make the most of a magical evening when Auckland's museums and art galleries will stay open until midnight, with special exhibitions, family activities, performances and refreshments. A free bus connects activities taking place across greater Auckland.
- Check out the bargains in the main programme - with ticket prices for headline acts starting as low as $27.50 (Ihimaera) or $37.50 (The Manganiyar Seduction) there's something to suit every budget. Visit www.aucklandfestival.co.nz for the full programme and ticket prices.
- Bring a sandwich or pick up some sushi, and spend weekday lunchtimes in the glamorous Spiegeltent, listening to some of the top creative minds in the business talking life, ideas, arts, and culture. Expect humour, controversy, inspiration - and even the odd impromptu performance.
- Get the whanau together and head to Aotea Square for the free Family Day Garden Party (March 13) a special day of art, music, activities and stories for younger arts lovers.
- Pick up the Festival's Visual Arts Guide and spend quality time with spectacular works by top local and international artists in the Festival programme. Exhibitions run throughout the Festival and all are free of charge.
- Make the most of Auckland's balmy March nights, and enjoy a selection of New Zealand's best short films on the Movies in Parks screen.
- Poke your head into the workshops and masterclasses for a unique behind-the-scenes look at the creative processes of top Festival talent.
- Last minute ticket deals and 2 for 1 specials are a great way to see Festival shows without blowing your budget. During the Festival (2-20 March) keep an eye on www.aucklandfestival.co.nz, 'like' the Festival on Facebook (Auckland Festival) and follow @AklFestival on Twitter for the latest information.
- Check out the Auckland Fringe programme for a bevy of free events (www.the-edge.co.nz/fringe.aspx).