It’s time for thinking

Politics, music, history, climate, mapping our land – the 2020 Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas is full of discussion about all the things that make our world tick.

The 2020 Aspiring Conversations will be held at Lake Wanaka Centre from April 3-5, and it’s just a few days until we launch the programme for this year’s event.

We have already announced one exciting speaker session: ‘New Kids on the Block’, featuring Marilyn Waring and Chlöe Swarbrick, our two youngest members of Parliament in the past century. They will be discussing their battles, their losses and victories and what might have changed across the years between their political careers.

The full Aspiring Conversations programme has gone to print and we will be sharing it with our stakeholders at our launch event on the evening of Monday, February 3.

Directly afterwards it goes out to the world – check out our website from 7pm on Monday night:

Programmes will be mailed out after the launch and will be available to pick up around Wanaka from cafes, shops, the library and accommodation providers.

Get your tickets

The Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas offers three days of thought-provoking discussion and performance in April of 2020.

Here’s how you can buy tickets to this year’s event.

Key dates:

General ticket sales start: Friday February 14 from 8:30am

Priority ticket sales for festival Patrons, Benefactors and Sponsors: Monday February 3 from 7pm

Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas: April 3, 4 and 5, 2020

How to buy:

There are three ways to get tickets for the festival.

See our friendly staff at the Festival Box Office in the Lake Wanaka Centre.

We will be open on Friday 14 February from 8.30am to 2pm and Saturday 15 February 10am to 2pm, for cash and eftpos sales. The Box Office will also be open during the festival from 9am on Friday April 3.

Book online at

Call our ticketing telephone on 022 4 TIX NOW (022 4 849 669).


Love our festivals? Renew your support!

Our Patron and Benefactor supporters are a crucial part of our funding mix – ticket sales only covered 28% of our costs for the 2018 Aspiring Conversations.

The rest of our expenses are paid for through the support of grantmakers, sponsors and private supporters like you!

You can join for the next two years as a Patron for $600 or a Benefactor for $2500 and be a part of bringing two wonderful festivals to Wanaka – your Patron or Benefactor membership covers both Aspiring Conversations and the Festival of Colour.

It’s easy to renew or join online online here on our website.

Or you can:

  • direct deposit your donation into our Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust  bank account with your name as a reference
  • post or drop off a cheque to the festival office: PO Box 630, Wanaka, 9343
  • get directly in touch with General Manager Laura Williamson on, or on 443 4172.