18-28 OCT 2019

Welcome to the Festival

The 2019 Festival - the 25th Nelson Arts Festival - sees shows coming all the way from such far-flung places as Germany, Scotland, the USA and even Nelson!

Explore the site to find everything you want from circus to choirs, from theatre to talks, from music to mask, and from dance to disco!

Our thanks to everybody who helped put this Festival together, our partners, our funders, our sponsors, our supporters, our crew, and of course you, our audience.

Featured Events

  • free

MASK PARADE & CARNIVALE

Join us for the 25th Mask Parade! Make this the biggest opening night celebration yet for the Nelson Arts Festival, celebrating 25 years!
  • nz

CELLFISH

AOTEAROA
Where hardened inmates come face-to-face with a whole new nightmare: Shakespeare classes with Miss Lucy!
  • free

PIC’S PIKI MAI

In celebration of the 25th Nelson Arts Festival we’re thrilled to bring back crowd favourite Piki Mai, sponsored by none other than Pic’s Peanut Butter.
  • international

SHOOGLENIFTY

SCOTLAND
Shooglenifty’s unique blend of traditional Celtic folk embraces a wealth of world-music flavours ranging from electronica to alternative rock.
  • nz

PUKAPUKA TALKS: NATIVE SON

Join national literary taonga Witi Ihimaera in conversation with Guyon Espiner, discussing the revealing encore to his memoir, Māori Boy.
  • nz

THE TOPP TWINS

AOTEAROA
What better way to celebrate the Festival’s 25th anniversary than to bring back the headline act from that very first year, the glorious, audacious and hilarious Topp Twins!

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