The line-up for the 2019 Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival has been revealed.

A crowd of 200 were on hand on Thursday evening as Arts Inc Heretaunga revealed its much anticipated fifth birthday programme.

The festival, a now an established annual event, will be held from October 15 to 28.

The line-up this year is an exciting blend of international, national and local talent.


It includes a range of free family events, targeted workshops and performances for schools and youth, as well a readers and writers weekend.

Festival director Pitsch Leiser said the larger Spiegeltent, called The Victoria, had allowed them to think a little differently in terms of who we could bring to the festival stage.

The headline show, Limbo, was something you might normally find in the bigger centres of Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, he said.

"It is great that the festival has achieved a large following to now offer something of this calibre."

Sitting alongside Limbo is a line-up of several Kiwi legends including The Topp Twins, the iconic Dave Dobbyn and New Zealand's own master storyteller Michael Hurst, who teams up with Shayne Carter in An Iliad.

Local sisters Anna and Madeleine Pierard will accompany premiere concert pianist Michael Houstoun in Phänomen. The final night showdown will be led by Te Awanga local Ben Throp and his band.

International highlights include the powerful and emotive art of live flamenco music, song and dance with Ida Y Vuelta by Alma Flamenca with dancers and musicians from India, Spain, Venezuela and Australia.

From Scotland comes the musical feast of Shooglenifty, famed for their energising acid croft and contemporary roots material. Portraits in Motion with German photographer and storyteller Volker Gerling, who is a passionate creator of flipbooks, bring to life his numerous encounters with people from around the world


With Rants in the Dark, adapted into a play from Emily Writes' best-selling book, this is a strong theatre offering with the hilarious unfiltered truth on parenting.

Cellfish is another award-winning drama that sees inmates explore Shakespeare with funny and unpredictable results.

And from Trick of the Light Theatre company comes the Bookbinder, a story of mystery, magic and mayhem.

For families, there is the multi-award-winning show, Kaput, that has melted hearts of all ages around the world with its glorious brand of slapstick, acrobatics and total silliness.

Then there is the delightful Royal Jelly, with its comic characters, vivid storytelling, bee facts, physical theatre and puppetry.

Family friendly free events this year again include White Night, that will enliven the streets of Napier, and the thriving hub of artists and craftspeople at Waiohiki Creative Arts Village.

Tickets to all these events, go are on sale online from or iSites Napier, Hastings and Havelock North.