New Zealand Fringe Festival confirms festival dates for 2022

Flexible, innovative and creative. The New Zealand Fringe Festival is no stranger to change and has been able to successfully navigate the ongoing Covid-19 Alert Level changes across the 2020 and 2021 festivals, adapting its crowd capacities and health measures promptly at a moments notice.

With the recent transition into the new Covid Protection Framework (Traffic Light System), NZ Fringe and its venues find themselves in a stronger position to keep audiences protected by following government guidelines, and is in a confident position to be able to deliver the 2022 festival under all three Traffic Light levels.

New Zealand Fringe has blossomed over 32 years and has now morphed into a powerhouse open-access arts festival across Pōneke.

With a limitless cornucopia of theatre, circus, comedy, cabaret, dance, visual/sonic arts, film and more; Pōneke audiences can look forward to a three-week-long lineup of diverse and enriching arts and experiences.

NZ Fringe is also led this year by newly appointed Fringe Festival Director Vanessa Stacey (Ngati Kuia / Te Āti Awa), whose extensive Industry experience in theatre, music, film and TV brings a knowledgeable and passionate new leadership to the festival.

With a refreshed ‘punked up’ brand look and feel for 2022, and awareness for the many successful artists NZ Fringe has helped to launch early in their careers, NZ Fringe stakes its claim as being The Birthplace of Brilliance and remains the largest open-access arts festival in Pōneke and Aotearoa; fostering new ideas, new artists and groundbreaking arts experiences.

Festival Director, Vanessa Stacey says: “It’s an exciting new time for the New Zealand Fringe Festival, and we wanted to celebrate the programme as another fantastic space to feature a fresh new look and artist (Jordan Debney). This year’s programme is absolutely brimming with fresh new exciting shows and exceptional talents, with another record registration. Firmly cementing the festival, once again, as Aotearoa’s Birthplace of Brilliance'”

With shows spanning multiple genres, spaces and platforms, 2022 is set to deliver the largest lineup of Fringe shows to date, with over 200 events on offer.

Daredevil and sword-swallowing sensation Rachel Atlas steps out of their cabaret comfort zone with their show Gag Reflex exploring living life on the knife’s edge.

Streaming in from Australia is the award-winning Priestess of Pop Juniper Wilde in their digital concert Wilde Night In. Original hip-hop musical Wet Dreamz and original folk musical After The Storm (as part of the Lift Off season by Te Auaha) see’s newcomers and graduates of Te Auaha Whitireia Musical Theatre programme Bentley Stevenson and Emma Salzano respectively make their NZ Fringe debuts.

Acclaimed actor Ana Chaya Scotney of the hit comedy film The Breaker Upperers fame brings their devised spoken word show Scattergun to BATS Theatre, and seasoned actor, comedian, singer and drag artist Jthan Morgan debuts their Takatāpui drag girl group show Presenting…The Tiwhas!, performing at both ROXY Live (Roxy Cinema, Miramar) and at BATS Theatre.

Making its highly anticipated return this year after a successful inaugural outing in 2021, The New Zealand Fringe Festival’s late-night cabaret spot and festival hub, The FAFF Club is back and bigger than ever.

The club is a curated hive of events for the most outrageously entertaining Fringe shows and artists to congregate and celebrate the festival’s innovative spirit of pushing boundaries and taking pleasure in the frivolity and freedom of Fringe.

A handful of the acts secured for 2022 include renowned NZ Circus Company Colossal, Wellington fashion house Savage Club, Karen O’Leary of NZ, TV and Film notoriety, The Gallery, a Te Whanganui-a-Tara based Hip Hop act with a live band, Wiri Donna, who is the project of Pōneke based creative, Bianca Bailey making indie inspired dinky riff rock, and DJ Pash James with a Blue Light Disco to close out the festival.

Award-winning Drag Artist Hugo Grrrl proudly opens The FAFF Club this year with their new cabaret spectacle The Shit Show, which promises to be an explosive comedy with an all-poop-can-can troupe called The Little Shits.

New to the 2022 festival is the addition of the Ticket Plus ticket type which provides audiences and artists with an option to add $5 or more to their ticket purchase.

A straightforward donation option for audiences to support the artists directly. The 2022 New Zealand Fringe Festival prides itself on being a diverse and ground-breaking open-access arts festival.

Rallying the city, artists, and audiences to have the privilege of watching emerging artists launching their careers paired with seasoned artists ready to break new ground with unbridled chaos and creativity.

Vanessa Stacey continues:  “I’m passionate about making the Fringe as inclusive and diverse as possible, both artistically and culturally and we are very excited to have CNZ support this Kaupapa with sponsorship for our New Emerging Pasifika Artist Award, while also introducing a tour-ready award to both our sister Fringe festivals in Auckland and Dunedin!”

As an open-access arts festival, New Zealand Fringe Festival champions emerging artists and supports the birth of new and groundbreaking arts experiences and ideas.

Taking place across theatres, bars, boats, bedrooms and even the Wellington Zoo; all our favourite Fringe venues including BATS Theatre, Te Auaha, The Fringe Bar and The Gryphon Theatre (FATG) are hailed for reimagining arts in Pōneke and pushing creative boundaries for audiences to discover and enjoy during the New Zealand Fringe Festival.

From outdoor indie musicals, naughty stand up comedy acts, Māori drag girl groups to Tennis themed circus shows, NZ Fringe has a kaleidoscope of events to amuse, entertain and uplift this season.

The New Zealand Fringe Festival programme is now live to explore on our website. The festival opens on 18 February running until 12 March in Wellington 2022.

Book tickets and explore the many shows on offer.

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