TO WIND DOWN: Arts festival organisers David Inns
and Carla van Zon are extremely happy with how the festival
went, despite the competition from other events.
ROB KITCHIN/Dominion Post
from other concerts and events could have cost this year's
NZ International Arts Festival nearly $6 million in lost ticket
sales, festival chief executive David Inns says.
itself against big names such as David Bowie, Billy Connolly,
Hayley Westenra and The Pretenders, this year's event started
off on the back foot with the musicians eating into the festival's
events such as the Cuba St Carnival and the dragonboat racing
would have had an impact, also taking media attention away
from the festival. Unseasonably bad weather had not helped
the obstacles the festival, which officially ends tomorrow,
has been dubbed a success by organisers.
sales figures and income generated from the festival would
not be available for a few weeks, but Mr Inns said he was
feeling "pretty comfortable" about what they would
we've certainly achieved the numbers in terms of bums on seats,"
many shows such as the Spanish National Ballet Company sold
out after the festival started, presales for this year's shows
were lower than normal, Mr Inns said.
used to have quite a big presale factor. Whether that was
down because of the competition or whether people want to
see what the reviews say first, I'm not sure . . . There was
a change in buying patterns."
opera The Elixir of Love was considered by many to be a risky
choice, something that was reflected in subsequently disappointing
ticket sales and possibly making it the biggest financial
risk of the festival.
that went to it loved it, but the problem was getting people
to go to it," Mr Inns said.
director Carla van Zon admitted the traditional opera audience
had been disappointed by this year's choice.
think that it was quality, but it was just a different style.
We probably haven't pleased our traditional audience, but
we have brought in some new people.
is the most expensive outfit to produce. We can't say with
any certainty how we can continue it. We always hope that
we will have opera, but in fact more people go to the national
Inns said theatre had been particularly successful this year
and shows such as New Zealand play The Songmaker's Chair and
French show The Junebug Symphony had drawn bigger audience
numbers than expected.
there were some grumbles about expensive ticket prices, Ms
van Zon said things such as the international ballet and opera
shows were actually cheaper than the last festival, despite
production costs rising.
Ms van Zon said that despite the obstacles she was delighted
by how the festival had gone after two years of planning.
said she wanted the festival to be accessible to a wide range
of people, and therefore always needed to find a varied programme
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