Working with the local arts and events community, the 2020 Nelson Arts Festival takes place under the banner of Ngā Toi Huatau – The Seasonal Arts, with a series of events ‘sprinkled’ over the month of October.

The focus has naturally shifted, as a result of Covid-19. In the past, we’ve brought international and national shows to Nelson audiences who might not otherwise get a chance to see them. This year our programme showcases familiar and less familiar artists, authors and creative practitioners living here in the region as well as world-class performers who live here and elsewhere in Aotearoa.

For the first time in many years, the Nelson Arts Festival will happen mostly in the inner city rather than at Founders Heritage Park. By collaborating with inner city venues, we can keep ticket prices low to free.

Underpinning all programming decisions is the belief, among board members, staff, contractors and volunteers, in the transformative power of culture; a conviction that sharing theatre, music, comedy, dance, visual arts and literature is the key to rebalancing and revitalising our region’s community.

Read the latest information about how we are responding to Covid-19 here.

Featured Events

Here is a selection of shows from this year's exciting programme!

Not Just for Laughs, Eamonn Marra (Photo Credit: Ebony Lamb) and Lil O'Brien (Photo Credit: Troy Goodall)
  • $

Not Just for Laughs

Eamonn Marra and Lil O'Brien discuss the balance between comedy and tragedy in their debut books.
Rachael Craw, Brin Murray and Robyn Prokop
  • $

Writing Young Adult Fiction

Multi-award winning author of fiction for young adults Mandy Hager in conversation with local YA writers Rachael Craw, Brin Murray and Robyn Prokop.
The Human Voice
Selling Fast
  • $

The Human Voice

An unflinching examination of the human condition in 45 minutes you cannot look away from.

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