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  • Auckland - Jazz and Blues
  • Queenstown- American Express Winter Festival
  • Wellington- World of Werable Art

New Zealand events and festivals portray the very down-to-earth, quirky, diverse and one-of-a-kind culture.

Auckland : Jazz & Blues

Although jazz has thrown up an abundance of controversies over the years, the one element on which there has hitherto been universal agreement is concerning the origins of the music. It has long been accepted that jazz evolved from a combination of African music, introduced into America by the slaves, and European dance music. Jazz Performance is a rigorous programme of practical & academic work. All New Zealanders especially Aucklanders enjoy their Jazz & Blues Festival due to sheer love for the music it creates.

New Zealand music has been influenced by blues, jazz, country, rock and roll and hip hop, with many of these genres giving a unique New Zealand interpretation. Māori developed traditional chants and songs from their ancient South-East Asian origins, and after centuries of isolation created a unique “monotonous” and “doleful” sound. Flutes and trumpets were used as musical instruments or as signalling devices during war or special occasions. Early settlers brought over their ethnic music, with brass bands and choral music being popular, and musicians began touring New Zealand in the 1860s.

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Christchurch : World Buskers Festival

It isn’t summer in Christchurch without the World Buskers Festival. Christchurch’s annual World Buskers Festival is its most loved festival where 40 artists from around the world perform for the general public. Artists from Canada, USA, Brazil, Portugal, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Australia and New Zealand, take to the streets, the City Mall, Cathedral Square, the Arts Centre and the Botanic Gardens – family oriented humorous skits are performed in famous locations in the heart of the city. Later, the Fire Show in Cathedral Square and comedy shows of the more adult type are shown in The Loaded Hog pub, the Christchurch Casino and the Comedy Club stage in the Arts Centre.

Bring your sense of humour, and if you don’t have one, you will by the end of the show! Beware the performers, as they ask unsuspecting people to be volunteers on their show. Remember your loose change, as these performers are there without pay, and make a living from the donations you give them. All in all, get ready for a fun filled festival of organised madness and mayhem in the lovely summer and surroundings of the Garden City. Hagley Park becomes Busker Park during this time.

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Mt.Cook : Annual Mackenzie Country A & P Show

Held every Easter Monday in Fairlie the Mackenzie Highland Show is the largest one day Agricultural and Pastoral (A&P) Show. Competitions are held in sheep, cattle, horses, wool, dog trials, Kennel Club, donkeys, alpacas, llamas, goats, poultry, produce, photography, wood chopping, Highland dancing and piping, wearable arts and more. Food stalls, entertainment, trade displays are also .

Easter Monday the Mackenzie Highland A & P show is held at the show grounds in Fairlie and here you can see show jumping, Celtic dancing, kennel club, home industries, sheep, wool and livestock displays, farm machinery exhibits plus you can give a donation at the R.S.A. stand and receive a poppy. At 2 p.m. the grand parade of stock is always led by the Mackenzie Pipe Band. 1998 was the shows centennial. It is one of the best one day shows in New Zealand. Take along a picnic lunch and spread a blanket on the ground at lunch time, behind your car, as the locals have done for hundreds of years.

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Queenstown : American Express Queenstown Winter Festival

Icons don’t just happen overnight; the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2012 has been 38 glorious years in the making. Way back in 1975 a bunch of locals decided that the start of winter was a great excuse to have a party. They organised races on the mountain and in town, lollies for the kids, beers for the grown-ups, a concert or two and a town-wide ball, all of which made the Festival a great success. News spread quickly and the next year people came from further afield to join the festivities.

Since then the Festival has evolved into New Zealand’s biggest winter party and some say the biggest winter party in the Southern Hemisphere! It’s a 10 day celebration of Queenstown’s unique culture and community with street parties, fireworks, international and local acts, jazz, comedy, a Mardi Gras, family fun, Ball, and plenty of Mountain Mayhem. The Town is a-buzz with around 45000 people celebrating the arrival of winter in true Queenstown style. It usually takes place between 22 June to 1 July. WINTER STARTS HERE and Queenstown is proud of it!

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Rotorua : Agricultural & Pastoral Show

Have an awesome family day out at the 103rd Annual Rotorua Agricultural & Pastoral Show held on one of New Zealand’s most pictureque Show Ground which is also the venue of the famous Agrodome and Adventure sight. The Show features the best of Equestrian, Dairy & Beef Cattle, Calf Club, Alpaca, Miniature Horse, Donkey & Mule, Harness Horse, Heavy Horse, Show Hunter, Western Riding and Goat competitions and events. Also the Agrodome Shears & Woolhandling (Sunday only) and Wood Chopping Events.

There will be Children’s races and fun activities, wagon rides, climbing wall, fun rides, small animal display, antique machinery, “Yesteryear” Museum, lawn mower racing, Stilt Walkers, Agility Dog Displays, Papa Crete (Concrete Man) – a variety of musicians, Lawn Mower Racing, Trade Sites and lots of yummy food plus much,much more. A great day out for the whole family.

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Wellington : World of Wearable Art

Once described as “Mardi Gras meets Haute Couture at a Peter Gabriel concert directed by Salvador Dali,” World of Wearable Art twists conventional perceptions of art and fashion. Unique works of art are designed for the moving body and individually choreographed into a two-hour theatrical show. Each year’s performance is original and contains elements of music, dance, lighting, drama and comedy. The show selects around 180 garment entries, including over 60 from international designers, and each two-hour performance celebrates them through a montage of colour, movement and art.

First held in 1987, the World of Wearable Art began as a promotion for a rural art gallery in Nelson. Growing in appeal each year, both locally and internationally, the show moved to Wellington in 2005 and now attracts an audience of 30000 people per season. This annual extravaganza twists conventional perceptions of both art and fashion and weaving these into a spectacular two hour performance.

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