Varied lineup for New Year
Earthquakes, the Rena disaster, unemployment, 2011 made for some grim reading.
Fortunately the nation cheered up after our Rugby world Cup victory, so, with New Year’s Eve almost upon us, what events can we look forward to in 2012 to keep our spirits high?
Kicking off on December 31 is Wellington’s Summer City Festival, a three-month line-up of outdoor gigs and entertainment running til mid April.
The annual festival returns with some of the goodies, including the ASB Gardens Magic Concert Series at the Sound Shell in the Wellington Botanic Garden, Films by Starlight and the Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
In the midst of the Summer City Festival is the biannual New Zealand International Arts Festival – 300 arts events scattered over the Wellington region during 24 days.
Wellington city snaps up most of the big names, including feminist writer Germaine Greer, musician Bon Iver and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Thomas Friedman, but Art On The Move ensures the smaller regions don’t miss out entirely.
Porirua and Paraparaumu will host indigenous singers Barefoot Divas, the Topp Twins will perform in Masterton and singer Maisey Rika is lined up for Otaki and Upper Hutt.
Festival executive director, Sue Paterson said the regional programme brings lower priced international and New Zealand works to all corners of Wellington.
Back for its 22nd year is the Wellington Fringe Festival for a three-week programme of comedy, theatre, dance, visual arts and music, starting on February 10.
In April and May, prepare for some belly ache with the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, while film buffs can look forward to the NZ International Film Festival over winter and the world premier of The Hobbit in Wellington in November.
Fashionistas can prepare for the inaugural Wellington Fashion Week in April and foodies can delight in the annual Visa Wellington On a Plate festivities in August.
If you’re outside of Wellington don’t worry, the capital isn’t hogging all the best events.
Marketing manager for Destination Wairarapa Barbara Hyde said the Wairarapa’s biggest gig lined up is New Year’s Eve party La De Da, which draws thousands of people.
There is a new family concert, Summer Tides, at Riversdale Beach in January, and another big number is Masterton’s World War 1 Air Show commemorating the Christmas ceasefire on the Western Front, also in January.
For the sports fans the NZ International Sevens is a must in February in Wellington and cricket lovers can look forward to three matches held in Wellington between the Black Caps and South Africa during February and March.
By no means exhaustive, but enough to keep you on your toes.