The fourth Tauranga Arts Festival extravaganza kicks off on Labour weekend for ten days of theatre, music, art, dance and community events.
From 20-30 October, thousands of festival-goers will take over the town to experience a stunning array of top artists at a variety of venues.
Festival director Philip Tremewan says the event has a wide range of entertainment to offer. â€œWith it being Labour weekend there are a lot of shows that target families so concession prices are available,â€ he says. â€œThe festival has great diversity so there is something for everyone.â€
Some of the most notable acts taking part include New Zealand-born jazz musician Mike Nock, who has â€œbeen playing jazz since he was a kid in short pants in the Waikato.â€ Nock is playing one concert during the festival alongside his trio from Sydney.
Aussie gospel duo Vika and Linda is another canâ€™t miss performance, according to Mr Tremewan.â€ The sisters have an incredible background and have played with many big name acts,â€ he says.
New Zealand musicians on show include Greg Johnson and Don McGlashan, one of the country’s finest and most original songwriters. Mr Tremewan said both shows are near sell-outs. Popular New Zealand reggae group Katchafire is also expected to generate a large audience.
Theatre offerings include The Lab, which features two scientist-musicians from Australia using water, fire and glass to create a symphony of sounds. â€œWe have some really interesting big shows at Baycourt,â€ Mr Tremewan says. â€œThe play Disgrace is just finishing up in Auckland and then theyâ€™ll come here. Itâ€™s a wonderful, serious drama set in post-apartheid South Africa.â€