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Nelson Arts Festival: 11 Days of Unmissable Arts Experiences

Our longest running annual arts festival is back on the boards and out in the community with a celebratory programme that harnesses the talents of creatives and artists from Whakatū, Aotearoa and around the world.

Boasting 58 unique events and the participation of over 200 artists the 28th Nelson Arts Festival programme offers 11 days of must-see arts events from 20 – 30 October. Everything from exhibitions, performances, workshops, whispers in the streets, parties, words, discussions, rituals, residencies, and unforgettable experiences will take over halls, theatres, galleries, heritage sites, Kōhanga Reo, a boxing gym and digital platforms across Whakatū.

View the full programme at

The 28th annual Nelson Arts Festival’s core funder is Nelson City Council. The trialling of the Pay What You Can ticketing model is funded by The Cultural Sector Innovation Fund from Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and supported by NBS Nelson Building Society.

Nelson Arts Festival is the first regional arts festival in Aotearoa to have our entire programme as Pay What You Can this year. We feel privileged to lead the way in making our festival more accessible for the whole community.
It’s been and continues to be a tough time out there, and we want to help give the gift of the Festival to as many people as we can: Pay What You Can enables more folx to engage with and celebrate our amazing artists, building value and love of the arts.
As with many firsts and new initiatives, we could not do this alone: our Pay What You Can trial is made possible with help from The Cultural Sector Innovation Fund from Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture and Heritage – and with the support of our amazing Kārearea partner, NBS.
We are thrilled to partner with NBS – they are another local organisation that shares our goal and vision to improve and nurture wellbeing in our community.
“Our NBS funding will help enable many Nelsonians the affordable opportunity to engage with literary arts, theatre and music,” says NBS Community Engagement Manager Nic Foster – pictured here at our launch event in August. “I want to see sell out shows and smiling faces. Nelson and Tasman have done it tough recently and the festival is a great conduit to bring our community together.”
We are truly humbled by and grateful for this support and cheering on – ngā mihi nui, thank you.
Find out more about our Pay What You Can:

Check out the events at Nelson Art Festival Here

Click here to find out more…

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