Festival of Colour 2021 wraps up

Ray Tiddy

With more than 9,000 tickets sold to over 40 shows across eight days, Wānaka’s Festival of Colour has been hailed a success.

For outgoing festival director Philip Tremewan, it was a relief to present the festival in full with no disruptions due to Covid-19.

“We know we are so very lucky to have been able to share the experience of live performance on stage in venues with audiences with no physical distancing,” he said. “We are one of the only places in the world where this can happen and it was very special.”

The ninth Festival of Colour marked the end of an era with Tremewan, who is retiring after being at the helm since the festival started in 2005.

“This year was also special because due to Covid-19 we could only present New Zealand acts and that made this a celebration of home-grown talent.”

This year, the festival attracted new audiences - partly due to their being some hesitation around buying in advance.

“We’ve often sold out most shows a month or six weeks in advance of the festival. This year that didn’t happen which meant there were tickets available to many shows during the festival dates and this opened up opportunities for those last-minute ticket purchasers. And this was reflected in a younger crowd coming along to many shows,” said Tremewan.

This year’s event featured three world premieres, including sold-out performances of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s ‘Ultra Violet / The Autumn Ball’ and new play ‘The Hall’.

There was also an extensive schools and community programme providing opportunities for young people to engage with artists and experience music,  physical theatre, poetry, visual art, photography and ballet - and 41 Helwick St shop windows were adorned with artwork created by Mount Aspiring College students.

Sophie Kelly now takes up the reins as artistic director for the Festival of Colour, with her first festival set for April 2023. 

Read edition 1023 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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