The Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival celebrates its sixth year with a homegrown line-up featuring some of Aotearoa's finest talent.
With 65 events over the two-week period from October 12-26, there is something for all tastes.
The 2020 Festival is inspired by well-known local waiata Tūtira mai ngā iwi, which calls to stand united, shoulder to shoulder, pakihiwi ki te pakihiwi.
It is reflected in the festival's opening performance curated by international theatre artist Lemi Ponifasio in collaboration with his company MAU Wahine, the Hawke's Bay Orchestra conducted by Jose Aparicio and Kahurangi Dance Theatre.
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It will also feature in a special trip down memory lane with waiata by some of Ngāti Kahungunu's most beloved composers Te Amorangi Wi Te Tau Huata, Paraire Tomoana and Taite Cooper, performed by local talent Howard McGuire, Erena Tomoana, Katherine Winitana, Ngatai Huata and whānau and Ngāti Kahungunu Taikura alongside a stellar lineup of iconic musicians from around Aotearoa including Don McLashan, Lisa Tomlins, Hollie Smith, Louis Baker and Whirimako Black.
Festival director Pitsch Leiser said it seemed important to programme the festival to reflect the year. "The line-up allows us to be a little more reflective, thoughtful and above all celebrate stories and talent of our country and region. We are here as a festival to support our artists and offer them a platform to not just entertain but a space to discuss and express the important issues of our current time. We welcome all of our community to come and engage, participate, discuss, laugh and cry with us."
The main hub of the festival will be in central Hastings. The bulk of performances will be held at Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts and Events Centre. The Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival is now a well-established annual event nurturing Hawke's Bay's reputation as a vibrant and exciting place to live and visit. This year it offers a unique opportunity to support talented local and national artists, and to celebrate the gift of being able to come together and to connect through the magic of live performance.
Tickets to all the events go on sale online on Monday from hbaf.co.nz or iSites Napier, Hastings and Havelock North as well as Ticketek outlets at Toitoi and Napier Municipal Theatre.