The closing weekend of the Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival is proving popular as a variety of acts fill the final days of the event.

Last night the Spiegeltent erupted with sound and colour as Australian act Lolo Lovina took to the stage in force.

Fronted by acclaimed singer Sarah Bedak, the Romani-Gypsy band delivered a worldly set of music featuring saxophone, trumpet, drums and guitar.

Ms Bedak said the band was "thrilled' to be performing as part of the arts festival as it was the group's very first trip to New Zealand.


"We were very excited, blessed and very, very grateful to be a part of the Hawke's Bay Arts Festival. We love the Spiegeltent and to be alongside the artists that are curated for the festival is a real honour."

The band members have roots in Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia and Malta, giving the band its unique identity and authenticity.

Ms Bedak said last night had "a bit party vibe" and was a mix of listening and dancing experiences.

"There was music in between traditional Romani-Gypsy music and styles that we love. There was a bit of heavy metal, a bit of tango, gypsy swing and British pop... so a big party vibe as well as gorgeously arranged listening experiences.

The musicians spent the past week rehearsing, talking and discussing every fine detail of last night's performance, she said.

"We hadn't gone out and seen anything. We just put our heads down to and really wanted to make it absolutely the best show possible for everyone in Hawke's Bay."

Festival director Pitsch Leiser said one of the highlights of the closing weekend was The Story Only I Can Tell, featuring acclaimed Australian photographer and storyteller, William Yang.

"Yang explored issues of identity, belonging and travel in an incredibly powerful and moving way.


"I was lucky enough to see him perform in the 90s and it's one of those shows that's stayed with me ever since."

He said another highlight was Pss Pss by Swiss company Compagnia Baccala; blending contemporary clown with theatre and circus.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Declan O'Rourke of Ireland will perform alongside French Canadian powerhouse trio Vishten, who will bring an upbeat infusion of traditional songs in their first trip to New Zealand.

The final weekend is also jam-packed with events for readers and writers with seven diverse events to choose from, including Lies, Fake Lies, and Alternative Facts, led by investigative journalist, Nicky Hager, he said.

Tickets for remaining shows are available at or i-SITEs throughout Hawke's Bay.