Fes­ti­val ‘small but per­fectly formed’

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

Wanaka’s Fes­ti­val of Colour cel­e­brates its 10th birth­day this year and is set to hit its fi­nan­cial tar­gets again.

Fes­ti­val direc­tor Philip Tre­me­wan has worked with the fes­ti­val trust since its in­cep­tion in 2005 and says each of the six arts events has been a plea­sure to as­sem­ble.

The fes­ti­val is held ev­ery two years and costs be­tween $800,000 and $900,000 to run.

A Cul­ture and Her­itage Min­istry sur­vey af­ter the 2013 fes­ti­val re­ported 53 per cent of re­spon­dents stayed in Wanaka for three to seven nights, with av­er­age spend­ing es­ti­mated at $411. At least 12,200 tick­ets were sold. The Fes­ti­val of Colour Char­i­ta­ble Trust recorded a mod­est profit in 2013 of just over $16,000, which was put to­wards this year’s event. Ticket sales, grants and spon­sor­ship form the bulk of fes­ti­val in­come, with the 2013 box of­fice earn­ing $273,790.

Tre­me­wan said this year’s fes­ti­val is on track, thanks to the strong pur­chase of the limited num­ber of pref­er­en­tial tick­ets by pa­trons, fol­lowed by record first day public sales.

"The fes­ti­val bud­get is based on [pro­jected] ticket sales and I heave a sigh of re­lief when we hit that num­ber and we are just about to hit that num­ber again,’’ he said.

When plan­ning the first fes­ti­val, Tre­me­wan just con­cen­trated on get­ting the fes­ti­val go­ing. But since then, he’s been able to de­velop ideas.

"There’s also the thought – maybe next time! You do start bank­ing shows,’’ he said.

Tre­me­wan vis­its other arts fes­ti­vals to get ideas and is off to the Ed­in­burgh Arts Fes­ti­val later this year to ex­pe­ri­ence an event that presents 300 shows a day and sells about 2 mil­lion tick­ets.

"Wanaka is small and per­fectly formed. But lots of other fes­ti­val di­rec­tors come here to see what we do,’’ he said.

"It is a fes­ti­val that has a huge com­mu­nity stake­hold­ing. That makes it very, very spe­cial. I’ve been work­ing with the staff and board putting a pro­gramme to­gether and we’ve ended up with a great pro­gramme,’’ Tre­me­wan said.

Ear­lier fes­ti­vals in­cluded the Wild South Film Fes­ti­val, which no longer part­ners with the Wanaka event.

Tre­me­wan said while the "won­der­ful’’ films were missed, it meant there were no timetable clashes.

The only thing hold­ing Wanaka’s fes­ti­val back was venue ca­pac­ity, with Tre­me­wan sug­gest­ing a re­vamp of the Lake Wanaka Cen­tre, sim­i­lar to re­cent up­grades at Queen­stown’s Me­mo­rial Hall.

It was pos­si­ble more seats could be squeezed into Wanaka’s main venue "but longer term, it would be nice for Wanaka if it had an arts cen­tre’’.

Many of this year’s events have al­ready sold out. The Copen­hagen Royal Chapel Choir has agreed to per­form an ex­tra con­cert and ex­tra shows have been sched­uled for theatre pro­duc­tions, The Book­binder and An­zac Eve.

Fes­ti­val gen­eral manager Lind­sey Schofield said there had been calls for fes­ti­val opener, Australia cir­cus act Ca­sus, to per­form a sec­ond show but un­for­tu­nately the artists had to per­form in Keri Keri the next day.

While Tre­me­wan is hes­i­tant to name show high­lights – he loves them all – he is proud of the strength of the Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege pro­duc­tion.

"The com­mu­nity pro­duc­tion has been a very, very im­por­tant part. ’’

The teenagers are now in the thick of re­hearsals for Like There’s No To­mor­row, about teenage binge drink­ing, which will be per­formed at the Gin and Rasp­berry bar in Ard­more St.

Tre­me­wan also thinks prop­erty-con­scious mem­bers of the Wanaka au­di­ence would be very in­ter­ested in the views of econ­o­mist Shamubeel Eaqub and

Lake Wanaka Cen­tre box of­fice, 0224TIXNOW (022 484 9669) Rhodes Scholar An­drew Dean, who present Gen­er­a­tion Rent - The Un­equal Gen­er­a­tion in the As­pir­ing Con­ver­sa­tions pro­gramme.

He’s pleased to branch out with the Ca­sus cir­cus, de­scribes chore­og­ra­pher Dou­glas Wright’s work The Kiss In­side as "a bench­mark’’ and the Daf­fodils theatre pro­duc­tion as "knock­out’’, and be­lieves he has "quirky’’ cov­ered with per­for­mances of JS Bach’s Cof­fee Can­tata and Theatre NZ’s pro­duc­tion of Cafe.

Fes­ti­val gen­eral manager Lind­sey Schofield and direc­tor Philip Tre­me­wan out­side the Lake Wanaka Cen­tre.

Photo: MAR­JORIE COOK/FAIR­FAX NZ About the fes­ti­val launch: Wanaka’s lake­front at 7.30pm on Mon­day with Ahi Ka – Fires of Oc­cu­pa­tion, by vis­ual artists Ross He­mera and Priscilla Cowie, both of Ngai Tahu, and Su Proeb­ster, orig­i­nally from Ger­many. They will be work­ing with fire in dif­fer­ent ways. The public can watch them at work on their in­stal­la­tions on the lake­front from Fri­day April 17. What’s on: 1 cir­cus, 2 dance shows, 8 theatre pro­duc­tions, 16 mu­sic events, 5 As­pir­ing Con­ver­sa­tions, 3 vis­ual art shows, 1 street theatre.

When: April 20 to April 27. Venues: Lake Wanaka Cen­tre, Crys­tal Palace, the lake­front, Fed­eral Cafe, Gin and Rasp­berry, Wanaka Ma­sonic Lodge, Lug­gate Com­mu­nity Hall, Hawea Flat Hall, Holy Fam­ily Catholic Church, Ban­nock­burn Me­mo­rial Hall and Wanaka’s Ard­more Street. More in­for­ma­tion: fes­ti­val­of­colour.co.nz

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