A festival bursting with music, comedy, theatre, food, a market, and vibrant entertainment is coming to Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre. It will be a weekend spectacular, from the 3-5 March 2023, for all ages bringing to the forefront The Arts Centre’s unique spots, amazing retailers, and stunning restored heritage spaces that are perfect for creativity.
Once again The Arts Centre will be filled with the arts. It’s a festival that celebrates local talent, inclusivity, community, and cultural diversity. Off Centre will be a lively extravaganza, celebrating this beautifully restored site, and welcoming the public back in a shamelessly bold and bright new way.
Arts Centre Director Philip Aldridge says “we’re reframing our vision as most of the construction work is nearing completion, most of the fences are coming down and for the first time since the earthquakes, the public can once again walk through the centre of the site from east to west. It’s a significant occasion and we’re putting on a party to celebrate!”
Jodi Wright, who is part of the Off Centre Creative Team, is incredibly excited to be part of the buzz. “The Arts Centre has been the birthplace of many festivals that I’ve been involved with – World Buskers Festival, Jazz and Blues Festival and Writers’ Festival. These all originated here, and the way the community has embraced these festivals is mind-blowing!”.
The public will be treated to more than 50 events. Over 250 local artists will take to the stage from around Aotearoa. A jam-packed programme will offer something for everyone, from kid’s activities, street performance, circus, spoken word, theatre, dance, through to classical music, local bands, and some well-known names in the New Zealand music industry.
Headlining Off Centre is Tiny Ruins, a multi-award-winning indie-folk band based in Auckland. The songs of Tiny Ruins bring together a rare blend of eloquent lyrical craft and exquisite musicianship that have been treasured by crowds and critics for over a decade. Traversing influences that cross genre and era, the artistry of Hollie Fullbrook and her band spans delicate folk, lustrous dream pop and ebullient psychedelia.
Further top headline performances include Toi Toi Opera who will present some colourful site-specific operatic scenes; th’Orchard Dreamers Reprise featuring Mark Vanilau, Solomon Smith and th’Orchard crew’s first ever single ‘Burn It All Down’; The Tony Chestnut & Richard Rhythm Comedy-Thon featuring Brynley Stent, Rutene Spooner and friends who will bring us a wild night of top-notch comedy; A Baby Called Sovereignty which will take us on a journey with local wāhine through impressive indigenous sound, movement, text, and visual arts led by Juanita Hepi; and The Revolver Club will see Shay Horay and the team bring you two astounding cabaret evenings.
Indoor events will be ticketed and all outdoor shows will be free to the general public, encouraging people to explore the freshly opened site and wander from activity to activity during the festival.
Tickets and reservation bookings for the top six headline performances will go on sale on the 1 December 2022. Ticket prices vary from free entry to $60 per person. The full festival programme will be announced in early January 2023.
Key Festival Details
Venue: Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre, 2 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch.
Open daily: 3–5 March 2023. Events range from free entry to $60 per person.
Friday night will mark the official public opening event. This sparkling evening will include an opening ceremony and an exciting creative and artistic smorgasbord which will give people a taste of what to expect over the Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday and Sunday will see a vibrant entertainment schedule come to life, with something for everyone – music, choirs, comedy, theatre, performance, buskers, kids’ activities, opera, and much more.
The festival events range from free entry to $60 per person.
Festival details www.artscentre.org.nz/whats-on/off-centre/