The Whangārei Fringe Festival 2022 hits the district's doorstep on September 30 promising two weeks of weird and wonderful creativity.
Theatre, circus, art, digital technology, music, poetry, cabaret, fashion, drag and more are on offer during the festival run by creatives for creatives.
A musical couple is hitting all the right notes to revitalise the folk music scene in Northland with a mini folk festival - What the Folk Whangārei!
Local musicians Maggie Cocco and husband Micky Nogher are putting on a mini folk festival from midday Friday to Saturday night, fittingly in the region's only Irish bar, The Irish Wolf in Whangārei.
Cocco, whose musical talents vary away from folk which is her husband's realm, said the couple was inspired to pull the festival together after Covid forced the Whangārei Folk Music Club into hiatus.
"Most folk musicians in Northland have to go to other places, such as Auckland," she said.
Regular encounters with musicians new to the region but without a way to connect easily with like minded musos spurred the couple further to organise the small scale festival.
"We felt like the folk music scene really needed that boost and cohesion," Cocco said.
And thus, the first big folk music event in Whangārei since Covid was brought to fruition.
"The hope is someone else or other people will carry the torch and help grow the genre in Northland," Cocco said.
For a koha [donation] people can revel in performances by mostly local performers, ranging from solo folk singer-songwriters through to full bands. There are also musical workshops and community events.
The festival stage set in the cosy bar on Vine St will host the debut of the Whangārei Folk All-Stars, a supergroup made up of musicians from a mix of Northland bands.
A novelty twist on Saturday is an instrument petting zoo where children and adults can meet the instruments and musos behind the music, and have a go.
Cocco said the idea was drawn from orchestras in the United States who toured libraries and schools helping youngsters interact with the musical world.
"It exposes people to instruments they might not otherwise know exists."
A community meeting is on the cards for Saturday at 4pm and is open to any musicians keen to discuss how to propel folk back onto Northland's musical scene.
• Full details of What the Folk Whangārei! plus other Fringe events are available on the festival's website: whangareifringe.co.nz