Christchurch Arts Festival – [who] go[es] here

And keeping on with the theme of bringing you doom and gloom news, I read in this morning’s Christchurch Press that the Christchurch Arts Festival is in serious trouble. A quote:

The festival has evolved within a relatively short time from a $640,000 operation in 1995 to a $3.96 million enterprise in 2007.

To date it has contributed more than $40m to the regional economy while expanding its role to include a biennial cabaret festival and the management of The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival.

In 2002, the festival approached the council for financial assistance. It had overspent its marketing budget by more than $14,000 and spent almost $27,000 too much on administration.

It escaped insolvency when the council threw it a $20,000 lifeline after it posted a $113,805 loss for the 2001 festival.


CAF 2009 coverMy initial response was that the Christchurch arts community needs to rally round the festival. Obviously. Automatically. But then my OH asked the question I was ducking: how many events did I actually go to? (And were there (m)any that I wanted to go to, but didn’t?)

This year, I have to admit, I only went to one event: Bernadette Hall’s book launch. There were three or four other events I was moderately interested in going to, but a combination of clashes, the aftermath of my own book launch and simple inertia meant that I missed all of them. So I’m not a good candidate for leading the “Save the Festival!” march.

Maybe part of the problem is that we have three festivals which overlap too far – I’m not really sure what the differences are between the Arts Festival, the Literary Festival and the Writer’s Festival. (Other than when they’re held.)

And an interesting coincidence – I just received a programme for the 2009 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in the UK. Packed with events that I would love to go to. It’s a depressing contrast. Or maybe that’s just me.

Did you go the the Arts Festival this year? What events did you see, what events did you want to see?

One Reply to “Christchurch Arts Festival – [who] go[es] here”

  1. I went to lots of events in the last writer’s festival – took a day off work to do so, and also volunteered to help on the door so I could get free entry to more events.
    The Writer’s Festival is mostly writers doing the traditional one on one interview based events, or panel discussions. The Arts Festival encompasses all the arts – theatre events, music, street drama, dance, visual arts and even apparently sports (the Ice Dome). The Literary Festival as far as I know doesn’t exist 🙂
    I didn’t go to many Arts festival events as they are too expensive for me. Would have liked to see Slava’s Snowshow.

Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: