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Tauranga Arts Festival

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The Tauranga Arts Festival Charitable Trust produces the Tauranga Arts Festival and the Escape! Literary weekend.Our events enhance, enrich and engage our community with 10 days and nights of music, theatre, art, circus, dance and thought-provoking talks. We are a platform for world-class professional artists and performers at the height of their practise and provide an opportunity for our community to experience shows that would not normally come to Tauranga.

Who are you, and what do you do?

The Tauranga Arts Festival Charitable Trust produces the Tauranga Arts Festival and the Escape! Literary weekend.We provide a platform for world-class performers, artists, thought-leaders and writers to expand minds, delight audiences and touch all corners of our community. We include free events to ensure the Festival is accessible to everyone.

We also send artists into schools to perform shows and lead workshops.

The Festival will once again bring Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty alive with arts over 10 days, from October 24 to November 3, 2019. The full programme is announced and tickets go on sale in August 2019.

The arts are a study of what it means to be human that enables us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes.

How long have you been operating for, and how often do you meet/hold events?

The Festival was established in 1999 and celebrated its 10th Festival in 2017. It is made possible by the generous support of patrons, sponsors and funders.

The next Tauranga Arts Festival will be held from October 24 to November 3, 2019.

Escape! Literary weekend brings together thought-leaders from all walks of life, authors, chefs, poets and theatre-makers to be a part of “the little festival with big ideas”.The third and most successful festival was held over Queen’s Birthday weekend in 2018. Escape! is held in the alternate year to the 10-day Festival and the next is planned for May 29-June 1, 2020.

What sort of experience do you deliver in the Bay?

The Festival is a 10-day celebration of the arts that creates a platform for the coming together of our community and the pleasure of shared experience.We look for opportunities to celebrate our own identity, as well as to hear and learn stories and songs from others through a mix of local, national and international works.

2017 Festival highlights included:

  • 60 performances in 8 venues
  • 9 international shows
  • 202 artists and support crew
  • 17% of ticket-buyers from outside the Bay of Plenty
  • 98% saying they will attend the Festival again
  • 91% agreeing the Festival instils a sense of community pride.

Here are a few responses from those who attended.

The wonderful range of emotions I experienced from tears to joy as clever, talented people let me see their creativity.’

‘Loved being amongst fellow peoples of Tauranga all out and about bringing life to the CBD.No better medicine than being united in laughter.’

‘The Tauranga Arts Festival is a fantastic event for a diverse range of artistic expression.’


There are many ways to become involved in the Tauranga Arts Festival - you could become a sponsor or patron, volunteer with us or purchase a ticket for shows.

Find out more at https://www.taurangafestival.co.nz/support

Keep up to date by signing up for our e-newsletter here.

Feel free to drop us a line at info@taurangafestival.co.nz or phone 07 928 6213.

You can also connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You Tube, SoundCloud or Linked In.


From day one we have had incredible support in the form of local sponsors, patrons, volunteers and funders who enable us to deliver a diverse programme to all ages and stages in our community.Without their support we could not present our events.

Our Festival family grows each year and we are grateful to work with many local organisations who contribute to the positive experience and manaakitanga that our audiences enjoy. We are proud to host national and international artists and performers who appreciate the warm responses from our audiences and enjoy exploring our beautiful city and surrounds.