Thousands of Hawke's Bay arts lovers were treated to more than 70 performances around the region over the last two weeks.

Between 10,000 and 15,000 people attended the third annual Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival, which ended last night.

Festival director Pitsch Leiser said he was pleased with the turnout of people from Hawke's Bay, Auckland, Wellington and even overseas.

Read more: The Festival begins CHB 'onslaught of the senses'


People who had heard about the festival last year made their way to the Bay especially to experience it this year, he said.

"It was fantastic, the quality of our shows and our programme was really well received," he said.

"People were really complimentary of what we put together.

"People appreciated it and got what we were trying to do with our programme."

Having the festival based out of the Pacific Crystal Palace Spiegeltent in the newly opened Havelock North Village Green helped create a hub that beautifully connected the space, he said.

"That was really fantastic.

"We appreciated the opportunity to use it in a different way to last year."

The variety of performances, which ranged from visual arts to theatre, circus, dance and literature, meant there was something of interest for everyone who went through the festival, he said.

"Every year is different. We try to have different acts and make an effort in changing things up a bit."

One highlight was the White Night in Napier, which saw several thousand people experience Napier's art precinct with exhibitions, live performances and interactive events at night.

While all the performances were wonderful, Mr Leiser said his favourite were the emotional ones that touched his heart such as The Contours of Heaven which had lots of the crowd in tears.

Havelock North's Thomas Oliver was also very popular as well as Pss Pss which had sublimely beautiful clown, mime and acrobatic acts, he said.

"We had a huge amount of feedback this year about how much people have loved it and enjoyed it and the quality of the work and how important it was for them."

Other venues for events included the MTG Century Theatre, Napier Cathedral, Wairoa's Gaiety Theatre and The Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona College.