Arts festival trust chairwoman Jo Beetham, with sponsors representatives, Tranzit’s Katie Farman, and Eastwood Motor Group’s Aaron Pinkham and Gary Allan at the launch on Friday. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Creativity, arts and culture will take centre stage across Wairarapa in October.

The Kokomai Creative Festival will showcase more than 30 events involving music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film, and literature from October 10-19.

This year’s programme brings top New Zealand performers, artists, and writers to Wairarapa, said Wairarapa Arts Festival Trust chairwoman Jo Beetham.

International artists from Germany, US, Scotland, and the Czech Republic will also be performing.

Kokomai partner David Hedley, with sponsor Teresa McClymont and her daughter Bella.

The aim was to “create more amazement, excitement, and colour for the Wairarapa region” while keeping ticket prices affordable, Beetham said. There would be free events for children and families.

“The festival is about engaging with our local rural communities so they can easily access the best of creativity.”

The festival starts on October 10 at Tinui Hall with an exclusive show – As Far As The Eye Can See – developed just for the festival.

It will feature musicians Barry Saunders [The Warratahs], Ebony Lamb [Eb and Sparrow], and Caroline Easther [The Chills]. A second performance will be held at Pirinoa Hall on October 11.

Singer/songwriter Moana Maniapoto will perform her tribute to the ocean, My Name Is Moana on October 12 at the Kouraru Woolshed.

Other Kokomai highlights include performances by Scottish folk band Shooglenifty which infuses “heart-stirring rhythms” into traditional Scottish-Celtic music, and Wonderwombs – a circus troupe featuring some of New Zealand’s favourite performers from the circus, theatre, and dance worlds.

American bluesman Greg Copeland will also perform during the festival.

Kokomai will also include the popular ‘Readers and Writers’ literary events featuring writers such as Paula Morris, Steve Braunias, and Mike Chunn.

The full programme is available at www.kokomai.co.nz

Tickets are available from Wairarapa i-SITEs, Carterton Events Centre, and through www.eventfinda.co.nz from 9am this Friday.