Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

Escape! 2018. Image: Brydie Photography

Friday should have marked the opening of Escape! 2020, our little festival with big ideas that we all look forward to, and know you do too. The programme was 99% finalised when it became clear that a microscopic virus was seriously impacting the entire world, making cancellation the only possible decision.

Although we’re marking ‘what might have been’ with this newsletter, we’re also letting you know that while Escape! as you know it won’t be back on the programme this year, we’re still busy talking and planning about how we might deliver the Arts to Tauranga. This necessarily involves several scenarios as we try to imagine what social conditions may be like in the future. As we have seen this week, rule changes can be fast moving.

In the meantime, congratulations to Team New Zealand, all 5 million of us, for doing such a great job of squashing Covid-19.

If you’re feeling an Escape-size hole and looking for an Arts fix, we’ve done a quick roundup of a few things to enjoy over the next few days, weeks and months, including:

  • Every Friday London’s National Theatre screens one of its NT Live works (usually shown in cinemas) free for a week. This week is political comedy ‘This House’.
  • From Friday to Sunday watch the Royal NZ Ballet’s Hansel & Gretel, performed last year.
  • Auckland Readers & Writers offers a Winter Series of video panels. Watch live each Sunday at 9.30am or catch up later.
  • NZ Opera’s acclaimed 2015 production of Tosca will screen on TV One on Sunday, May 31 at 10am.
  • The NZ Doc Edge Festival is going entirely online this year, June 12-July 5. Tickets can be purchased online.
  • The NZ International Film Festival is also online this year, with Tauranga sessions from July 24 to August 2. Programme announced June 22.


Miles Calder and The Rumours performing at Totara Street, 2017 Festival. Image: Brydie Photography


While we enjoy these events in our homes we should spare a thought, and maybe a dollar, for the smaller privately-owned live-music venues in the arts community that are struggling to survive as the lights stay firmly switched off. Nationwide crowdfunding campaign Save our Venues includes Totara St at Mt Maunganui, have a look here.

Having a solid financial base is also key to the ability of the Tauranga Arts Festival to plan for the longterm – and the support of Sponsors and Patrons is integral to that. If you’ve thought about joining the Festival whānau but are unsure about what that entails, please feel free to get in touch, info@taurangafestival.co.nz, and we’ll be only too happy to talk you through it. There is also information on the Patrons page on our website. Your support has meant so much to us over the past few weeks and we truly believe we are stronger for facing the future together.

Kia kaha ki ā tātou!
Your Festival Team