Ten days and nights of rollicking good entertainment is on offer at the upcoming Tauranga Arts Festival.

The festival highlights range from internationally renowned circus-cabaret LIMBO to a panel discussion featuring an award-winning Kiwi scientist.

Music forms a mainstay of this year's festival and performers include American bluesman Greg Copeland, Scottish band Shooglenifty who pull Celtic folk music into the 21st century, and award-winning Kiwi singer-songwriters Nadia Reid, Reb Fountain, Tami Neilson and Milly Tabak and The Miltones.

One musician has already racked up success in another field – Black Caps cricketing legend John Wright.


When he is racking up the hours in hotel rooms, John's favourite pastime is to pick up his guitar.

Describing his music as upbeat with country flavours, Wright released his first album in 2017 and has an EP due shortly.

He comes to the festival to share his music and a few yarns.

Heather Holliday is a fire-eater and sword swallower with international circus-cabaret LIMBO. Photo / John Stapels
Heather Holliday is a fire-eater and sword swallower with international circus-cabaret LIMBO. Photo / John Stapels

Theatre-lovers can choose from plenty that combines both comedy and drama, including the brand new and already highly acclaimed play Mr Red Light, which sees a hostage situation unfold in a pie shop, and Cellfish which pits hardened inmates against William Shakespeare - "Some are looking to improve their parole chances, others want to kill some time and one just wants to kill."

Writers can hone their talents over Labour Weekend with workshops for short stories, writing for children (9 to 13) and screenwriting.

Tutors include Tim Balme (Brokenwood, 800 Words) and Kate De Goldi (The 10pm Question).

Among those sharing their stories in the Speaker programme (November 2 to 3) are financial writer Mary Holm, including a session specifically for young people, climate scientist James Renwick, Marilyn Waring, who looks back over her tumultuous years in politics, parenting authors Emily Writes and Renee Liang, Rocky Horror creator Richard O'Brien, and falconry expert from Rotorua Debbie Stewart.

See the full programme at taurangafestival.co.nz. Tickets may be bought through the festival website. Student prices are available to many shows.


The festival runs from October 24 to November 3.