We love arts and ideas – thank you to everyone for supporting our festivals.

We would love to be sending you a wrap up of the Aspiring Conversations festival today, but it was not to be. Instead we are looking to make the best of our present circumstances, and to look ahead as we start planning to bring the best of arts and ideas back to our community.

Thank you to our supporters – our sponsors, grant-makers, our Patrons, our Benefactors, and all the audience-members who bought tickets to our events over the years.

Because of you, we have a strong foundation on which to build our future. Our director, Philip Tremewan, is well into planning for our 2021 Festival of Colour. Next’s year’s festival will be a chance for us to come together to see live performances and ideas sessions in our own community, without having to travel, and to once again feed our hearts and minds through the arts.

As one of our ticket-holders said last week: “When things settle into the new normal, the ARTS will be more important than ever for our community, our culture and the world.”

Aspiring Conversations ticket refunds

Thank you to our ticketing team, especially our box office manager Lindsey Schofield and our ticketing manager Katy Macpherson, who have worked incredibly hard over the past two weeks to action refunds for our Aspiring Conversations ticket-holders.

If you had tickets to any of our sessions, you will have received a refund on the credit card you used to make your purchase (minus credit card fees), or, if you paid with cash or through direct deposit, we have been in touch about refunding directly to your bank account.

If you are due a refund and you have not received it, please get directly in touch with General Manager Laura Williamson on laura@festivalofcolour.co.nz.

A special thanks to ticket-holders who donated all or part of the value of their tickets back to our Trust to help us run even better festivals in the future.

Watch the NZSO from the comfort of your own home.

SLAFT Staff Picks: Arts and ideas online

Through our festivals, the Festival of Colour arts festival and the Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas, the Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust works to bring the best of arts and ideas to our community. While this hasn’t been possible due to the nationwide lockdown, we’ve been finding plenty to enjoy, and to support, online. Here are a few top picks from the festival team to get you and your bubble through.


Philip has been following the best of theatre, dance, literature and music from New Zealand and the world online. These are some of the sites he’s had on high rotation during lockdown:

Centrepoint’s 24-Hr Challenge
This project saw 10 playwrights paired with 10 actors and challenged to write, perform and film 10 original monologues in 24 hours, including Festival of Colour favourites Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Rita and Douglas), Anapela Polataivao (Wild Dogs Under my Skirt), Victor Roger (Childhood is a different country) and Roger Hall (C’mon Black).
Buy a ticket here to watch the results HERE.

NZSO and the Berlin Philharmonic live
Turn your lounge into a concert hall with live performances from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Philip loved Wednesday’s concert which included the NZSO’s cockatiel whistling Pop Goes the Weasel and a bit of Strauss! You can also access the Berlin Philharmonic’s concert archive.

The National Theatre, London:  Jane Eyre
Watch the beautiful and dynamic theatre production of Jane Eyre, a collaboration with Bristol Old Vic, filmed by National Theatre Live at London’s National Theatre. Jane Eyre is streaming for free on YouTube until 16 April.

The Guardian’s Hottest front-room seats
The Guardian is releasing a weekly list of the  best theatre and dance to watch online.


Banished Music livestreams
The team at Banished Music manage a roster of amazing musicians from Aotearoa, including Festival of Colour and Aspiring Conversations performers Finn Andrews, Nadia Reid, Reb Fountain, Lawrence Arabia and Anthonie Tonnon. Check out the Banished Facebook page for livestream announcements.

Arts on Tour: Aro – the Tour Covid Couldn’t Stop
With the physical tour of the Arts on Tour performance of the story-telling show Aro unable to proceed, Arts on Tour is live streaming to the same towns on the same day and time as planned. Aro includes songs celebrating our natural heritage and wildlife in a mix of jazz, pop and taonga pūrou. The show was due to come through Queenstown on Sunday April 12 at 8pm – you can watch it online HERE instead.

Circa’s Lockdown Live!
Wellington’s Circa Theatre is running Lockdown Live! every Wednesday at 11am on their Facebook page, a chance be able to experience life with a different artist that has links with Circa. Their first guest was Thom Monckton, who came to the Festival of Colour with his show The Pianist in 2015.


Annabel has some great suggestions for getting you literature online, including Poem-a-Day, an original daily poetry series publishing new work by contemporary poets, and DailyLit, who will email you a daily dose of 15-miute fiction.

And RNZ Drama have opened up their back catalogue of full-length audio plays, including Annabel’s work No Science to Goodbye, which premiered at the 2017 Festival of Colour.


Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust Trustee Trevor Crawford has been sound-tracking the long days of lockdown with some beautiful music inspired by the #SongsOfComfort online initiative, including Yo-Yo Ma and the Indigo Girls.