University of London journalism researcher Mel Bunce joins Newshub’s Paddy Gower for a session on Fake News at this year’s Aspiring Conversations ideas festival.

It’s time to join the conversation!

General Ticket Sales for the 2020 Aspiring Conversations start this Friday, February 14 at 8.30am.

There are three ways to buy tickets to our festival of ideas:

Online: Visit www.aspiringconversations.co.nz and click on the ‘BOOK TICKETS’ button.

In person: Come and see our friendly box office staff at Lake Wanaka Centre. The box office will be open on Friday February 14 from 8:30am to 2pm, and Saturday February 15 from 10am to 2pm.

By telephone: Call 022 4 TIX NOW (022 4 849 669).


Buying tickets on online? Check your password!

In advance of ticket sales starting on Friday, we suggest you log in to our ticket booking system and check you have remembered your login details and password (or enter your details if you are a first-timer).

Go to the Aspiring Conversations website and select the BOOK TICKETS button. This will take you to our ticket booking system.

Add your email address and check you have remembered your password.

If you have forgotten your password: 

Click the button ‘Forgot’.

You will receive a password reset email in your inbox (check your spam folder if this doesn’t appear!)

Follow the link in your email, which will take you to a new page and prompt you to reset your password.

You’re done! There’s no need to do anything else until you’re ready to book your tickets. It’s best to log in first before you buy your tickets.

If you’re looking for step-by-step guidance on purchasing tickets, head to the YouTube video we made for last year’s Festival of Colour.


Guitarist Darren Watson talks The Blues

Master guitarist Darren Watson (pictured)  has lived a life immersed in the blues. He was the principal frontman for rhythm & blues outfit Chicago Smoke Shop and has produced six blues-based albums of his own.

Darren will be part of our ‘Singing the Blues’ session at this year’s Aspiring Conversations, which will see four blues musicians in conversation with RNZ music journalist Nick Bollinger and playing songs that speak about the blues.

Darren was recently a guest on Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan on Radio NZ – listen to the podcast here:


Sponsors’ corner

PlaceMakers Wanaka

PlaceMakers Wanaka is a locally owned and operated business and is part of New Zealand’s leading and largest chain of building materials and hardware suppliers. As a locally owned and operated business for the past 19 years we have always made a priority of supporting all things local to help ensure events like 2020 Aspiring Conversations can happen in our beautiful town.


Arts in our region

Concerti Grossi – Southern Baroque Ensemble
Rippon Vineyard, 246 Mount Aspiring Road, Wanaka
Wednesday February 12 @ 7:30pm

Baroque music concert performed by Southern Baroque Ensemble, professional period-instrument specialists from New Zealand and abroad, featuring harpsichord soloist Edita Keglerova from the Czech Republic. Performing works by Handel, Corelli, Sammartini, Telemann, Vivaldi and included in the repertoire with be Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto.

Tutus on Tour
Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka, Queenstown Lakes
Sunday March 8 @ 6:30pm

The Royal New Zealand Ballet is expanding the company’s regional touring programme in 2020, featuring works tailor-made for the RNZB by trail blazing choreographers at home in New Zealand and on the world stage. A family programme for all ages, watch the dancers of the RNZB perform some of their favourites works.


Women’s Adventure Film Tour 19/20 – Wanaka
Cinema Paradiso, Wanaka
Sunday March 8 @ 6:00pm

The Women’s Adventure Film Tour presented by Macpac is a collection of award-winning short films celebrating women who are doing extraordinary things in the name of adventure. This year’s playlist features a cast of kiwi athletes including World Champion ultra trail runner Anna Frost, Olympic skier Janina Kuzma and mountaineer Penny Brothers.

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