An array of art events will liven up the streets of Whangārei in October thanks to a $46,000 grant to make the Whangārei Fringe Festival happen.

The Whangārei Fringe Festival will be held from October 10 to 26 thanks to a $46,400 Creative New Zealand grant to cultivate and support the development of what organisers hope will be an annual event.

Georgia-May Russ, who has been working on the Whangārei Fringe project since last year, said the Whangārei Fringe Festival team was "absolutely delighted" to have funding.

"The CNZ support means that the festival is actually possible and is an acknowledgement of the amount of work and preparation that goes into this.


"It is a huge job and we are really stoked to have some excellent support and people on board," she said.

Fringe festivals are a world-wide framework that began in Edinburgh in 1947.

The group behind the Whangārei initiative represent various Whangārei arts organisations including ONEONESIX, Northland Youth Theatre, Circus Kumarani, Fire Frenzy and Awhi World.

They hope to draw in a vast range of other local artists and collaborators to deliver an eclectic programme packed with creative events and workshops; theatre, music, dance, visual and digital arts, poetry, circus, comedy and drag throughout the CBD.

Hayley Clark, who pitched the idea of a Whangārei Fringe Festival last year, said she was really excited about the potential for Whangārei Fringe.

"I love that it doesn't exist as one person/group's vision but creates a place for all artists to create their own version of what Fringe means to them – in dance, theatre, visual arts and hopeful genres never seen before. It's the perfect place to play, take creative risks and experiment," she said.

The festival hub and box office will be centered at ONEONESIX and other venues have already expressed interest in being involved.

Organisers hope this will increase over the next few months.


ONEONESIX trustee and Whangārei theatre maker and actor Laurel Devenie said ONEONESIX was a great base for Fringe.

"A fringe festival creates a really exciting energy in a city and also provides a place for artists from all over the country to try out their new work to an audience,'' Devenie said.

"We've got so much talent in Tai Tokerau and we hope our local performers will jump into Fringe to perform their work. We're really excited about how this event could grow over the next few years."

Artists interested in being part of the festival can register or find out more on

An information evening for anyone in the community interested in getting involved will be held on July 23 at 5.30pm at 116 Bank St.