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Thursday, February 16, 2023


The Fringe Launch - Dec 2022 (Photos Tim Gruar)

It's finally happening! The New Zealand Fringe Festival has returned to the capital with more than 160 arts events due to be held over more than 40 venues.

It will run from tomorrow night, February 17 until March 11, hosting several award-winning international acts.  International shows that will be performed include The Pandemusical Diaries (San Francisco), Concept for a Film + Invisible Mending (United Kingdom), I Am King/Queen (Sydney), and Pillow Fight (Melbourne).

Local shows will include ARAWHATA by Wellington Ballroom and Suitcase Show by Trick of the Light.

The 23-day season is “set to wow and inspire Pōneke, offering an incredible lineup of local talents as well as welcoming back an array of exciting international artists, all spanning a myriad of genres and styles”, said Vanessa Stacey, director of the Fringe Festival.

New Zealand Fringe Festival welcomes first-timers, one-off attendees, and seasoned Fringe fanatics!

NZ Fringe Festival is an open-access festival, which means that artists and performers are free to register their events without any barriers. Each year's programme depends entirely on who decides to register and we're lucky to always have a stunning array of talented people join us each year. It's a real lucky dip of bold, daring and diverse works!

OK, so where is it?

The Festival isn’t held in one singular location, rather a myriad of venues all across Wellington to the outskirts of town partake in facilitating the Fringe. For example, we have shows happening from seasoned arts venues such as Te Auaha, Hannah Playhouse, The Gryphon, to out-of-the-box spaces like the Wellington Zoo, Botanic Gardens and even a board games cafe... anything is possible! Refer to our venue map here to see where NZ Fringe is happening in 2023.

Get Fringeeeeee! 

Step out of your comfort zone. Go to shows you wouldn’t normally go to. You never know, you just might discover something new about yourself. The most important part of Fringe is getting out there and having fun.

Take me to the Tix! 

Nau mai haere mai to the Fringe Box Office! Located at 17 Allen Street, Te Aro, Wellington. You can pick up your physical tickets here at the following times:

10am to 6pm, Tuesday - Saturday.

11am to 4pm, Sunday - Monday.

From 15 February 2023 onwards.

Get online and get to the shows! 

Friday, February 10, 2023

We say goodbye to Burt Bacharach -

Burt Bacharach, the songwriter and performer extraordinaire was a writer beyond simple composition.  He turned easy listening into high art.  All in all he scored 73 Top 40 hits in the US and 52 in the UK.

Musicians, Singers, artists, admirers and friends all paid tribute to the late performer who died in London at 94. 

“Burt’s transition is like losing a family member. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family letting them know he is now peacefully resting and I too will miss him.”  Dionne Warwick said in a statement. 

Brian Wilson wrote on Twitter: “I’m so sad to hear about Burt Bacharach. Burt was a hero of mine and very influential on my work. He was a giant in the music business. His songs will live forever.”

In his tribute, the Kinks’ Dave Davies called Bacharach as “a great inspiration” and “one of the most influential songwriters of our time.” 

Gilbert O’Sullivan tweeted about him.  "He was a “huge influence” on his songwriting career and created “timeless melodies never to be forgotten.”

Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1928 and raised in New York.  He'd sneak into jazz clubs underage to hear performers like Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie, immersing himself in the work of composers like Stravinsky and Ravel. 

He was classically trained at schools in Montreal, New York and California.  after a stint in in the US army he became a piano accompanist to musicians, such as Vic Damone, the Ames Brothers and his first wife, Paula Stewart. He was also arranger and conductor for Marlene Dietrich when she toured Europe in the late 50s and early 60s.

Hi songwriting breakthrough came in 1957, after meeting and working casually with lyricist Hal David at the famous New York pop powerhouse, the Brill Building. They scored back to back UK No 1s with two of their earliest songs, The Story of My Life by Marty Robbins (Michael Holliday in the UK hit version) and Magic Moments by Perry Como.

Topped by David’s variously whimsical, wounded and earnestly romantic lyrics, Bacharach created expert arrangements featuring close vocal harmonising, string sections, jazz piano and distinctive details, such as twinkling percussion and whistled melodies. 

With David he created a string of all-time classics: I Say a Little Prayer, sung by Aretha Franklin, What’s New Pussycat? by Tom Jones, The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield, Make It Easy on Yourself by the Walker Brothers, and many others.

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, performed by BJ Thomas and featured in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, went on to win a Grammy and an Oscar in 1969, while Bacharach’s music for the film won the Oscar for best original score.

Dionne Warwick became one of Bacharach’s most enduring and fruitful collaborators. Their hits together include Walk on By, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?, Anyone Who Had a Heart, A House is Not a Home (later a hit for Luther Vandross) and her own original version of I Say a Little Prayer. Warwick later successfully sued Bacharach after he and David stopped working together, stranding her without material. It was a “very costly and unfortunate” dispute, Bacharach told the Guardian in 2019: “I stupidly handled it wrong.” He and Warwick reconciled for the 1985 Aids charity single That’s What Friends Are For.

After he and Stewart got divorced in 1958, he married three more times, first to Angie Dickinson in 1965, then to Carole Bayer Sager in 1982, and last to Jane Hansen in 1993. 

Bacharach and Hansen, who remained married until his death, had two children, Oliver and Raleigh. Nikki Bacharach, his daughter with Dickinson, killed herself in 2007, aged 40, after a history of mental health issues.

His hit rate tailed off after the mid-80s, but he continued to pursue eye-catching collaborations, with, among others, Ronald Isley, Dr Dre and Sheryl Crow. He made a pair of albums with Elvis Costello, plus a version of I’ll Never Fall in Love Again with him for the 1997 movie, Austin Powers.

Friday, February 03, 2023

The Womad 2023 Stage Schedule if finally here!

The stage schedule for WOMAD New Zealand 2023 has just been announced.  Get your friends together and start planning who'll you'll see and what you'll be doing over the full three days of the festival.  Don't forget to leave room for lunch and comfort stops! 

For all the info go to

WOMAD NZ 2023, March 17-19  Celebrating 20 years, 17 Festivals And Over 1500 Performers / Be Part Of Global History. 

WOMAD 2023 tickets on sale now from