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. "With it being Labour weekend there are a lot of shows that target families so concession prices are available," he says. "The festival has great diversity so there is something for everyone."

Some of the most notable acts taking part include New Zealand-born jazz musician Mike Nock, who has "been playing jazz since he was a kid in short pants in the Waikato." Nock is playing one concert during the festival alongside his trio from Sydney.

Aussie gospel duo Vika and Linda is another can't miss performance, according to Mr Tremewan." The sisters have an incredible background and have played with many big name acts," 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. "We have some really interesting big shows at Baycourt," Mr Tremewan says. "The play Disgrace is just finishing up in Auckland and then they'll come here. It's a wonderful, serious drama set in post-apartheid South Africa."

A full listing of events is available on the website www.taurangafestival.co.nz. Tickets can be booked through www.ticketdirect.co.nz or by ringing Baycourt on 07 577 7188 or 0800 842 3378.