Your guide to the 2024 Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts

24 November 2023

The stage is set for an unmissable summer of the arts. As Te Whanganui-a-Tara prepares to come alive with the sounds, shapes and scenes of trailblazing theatre, dance, music and more, take the time to get to grips with a programme of performances that are sure to put the spotlight on the contemporary arts.

Jungle Book reimagined - credit Camila Greenwell

A kaleidoscope of performances

It can be easy to lose yourself in our extraordinary programme, from world-renowned dance companies to top-notch comedy, the 2024 line-up is as unique as it is diverse.

Let’s take a quick look at some top picks…

Coming exclusively to Wellington from the UK, the Akram Khan Company bring the Jungle Book reimagined. A thought-provoking modern take on the timeless tale that’ll leave you in awe.

For one night only see Tim Minchin take to the stage at St James Theatre with An Unfunny* Evening with Tim Minchin and His Piano. *We can’t promise the artist won’t inadvertently amuse.

The much-loved wāhine of Witi Ihimaera’s groundbreaking books are brought to life by a powerful cast for Witi’s Wāhine - all tenderly crafted by the late Nancy Brunning.

Prepare to be spellbound by the sounds of GRAMMY Award-winning and boundary-breaking singer Arooj Aftab in the Michael Fowler Centre.

Top tip – use the filter functionality on our events page to choose your favourite genre, collection or preferred date. 

ANZFA on a budget

It’s bold, it’s bright, it’s larger than life and what’s best, it’s completely free! Wellington Waterfront is getting a makeover as the Dreamgirls Art Collective bring us Taniwha Time Machine. Weaving their artistic magic to reunite Ngake and Whātaitai, the legendary taniwha who formed the landscape of the Te Whanganui-a-Tara, watch as their story comes to life - all complete with a disco dance floor too! Whānau-friendly, discover the stories of Taniwha Time Machine.

2024 also marks our first year in piloting a new values-driven ticketing platform called Choose Your Price I Kōwhiria Tō Utu. Offered across a range of performances we’re putting the power in your hands to pay what you can afford, with no booking fees and the chance to still sit where you like – win, win! Explore Choose Your Price performances.

A real page turner

It’s all things words as the WRITERS take over Wellington’s Embassy Theatre. Celebrating the power of storytelling, Writers from around Aotearoa and the world come to Pōneke from 22 – 25 Feb. Read all about our WRITERS events.

Top tip – Grab a Grand Take 5 Pass to save you nearly 30% on the full price of five shows for Writers events. Limited availability so don’t wait to book! Discover more about the Grand Take 5 Pass.

Varied venues

The Capital has seriously cool credentials and even cooler venues that we’re lucky enough to call home for the Festival.

Coming in hot for 2024 is the Tāwhiri Warehouse which will play host to not one but five incredible performances and events. A pop-up venue located in Newtown, bag yourself tickets for Hatupatu | Kurungaituku: a forbidden love, Whenua, Lost Lear, Warehouse Rave and Crossing Thresholds, a showcase of art created by disabled and neurodiverse artists.

Setting the stage for the likes of Meow Meow’s Pandemonium and Soweto Gospel Choir: Hope, the Michael Fowler Centre is well-versed in putting the spotlight on big music names. While in central Wellington, look to St James Theatre for Belle – a performance of the air, Witi’s Wāhine by Nancy Brunning and more. Don’t miss the Grammy Award-winning American band The National rock the TSB Arena on 25 Feb.

The Visual Arts are set for a regional takeover spanning from Upper Hutt to Te Papa and more. Discover sensory journeys, movement artists and a virtual sculpture with our varied Visual Arts programme.

Delve into the programme to discover the complete list of venues.

Watch our Creative Directors talk you through the extraordinary line-up.

The 2024 Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts runs from 23 Feb – 17 Mar.