Top 10: Arts and culture stories of 2013

07:47, Jan 03 2014
Homegrown 2013
Shihad's Jon Toogood reaches out to the audience during their headline set.
The audience goes crazy at the Homegrown festival on Wellington's waterfront.
Darryn Woods
CURTAIN CALL: Darryn Woods, who accidentally knocked himself out during a performance of Cosi at Wellington's Gryphon Theatre.
Counting Crows
THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Counting Crows delayed their Wellington concert on Saturday due to illness. The show was then axed on Sunday.
LAVISH SETS: Barbara Graham as Christine and Chris Crowe in the title role perform The Phantom of the Opera's memorable boat scene during the musical's run in Wellington this month.
Hilary Beaton
NO ENCORE: Downstage chief executive and director Hilary Beaton will be one of five staff to lose their jobs when the theatre closes on Saturday.
The Exchange by Tatyanna and Natasha Meharry, Christchurch. Winner of the Brancott Estate Supreme WOW Award and the Air New Zealand South Pacific section.
COMING OUR WAY: Harley Streten of Flume.
Armaggedon Wellington
The original Dr Who, Sylvester McCoy, with one of his biggest fans, Amelia McCarthy of Wellington dressed as a Tardis.

It has been a mixed year for arts and culture. There have been some great successes, such as World of WearableArt Awards and Homegrown, but it was sad to see the closure of the Downstage, the country's oldest professional theatre. 

Here are the top 10 arts and culture stories you clicked on. 

1. WOW winners 2013

The Brancott Estate Supreme Award went to Christchurch sisters Tatyanna and Natasha Meharry for their creation 'The Exchange.' Online we ran galleries, video and a comprehensive wrap-up of the event.

2.Counting Crows a no-show again

American rockers Counting Crows turned out to be lame ducks when in March they cancelled two concerts in as many nights. To the disappointment of fans the band cancelled both its Wellington and Auckland. The cancellation was apparently due to sudden illness. Twenty-hours prior to the Wellington concert, lead singer Adam Duritz had posted a picture of himself soundchecking at the Michael Fowler Centre.


3. Fans irked by 30km concert shift

Fans of Australian electronic artist Flume, aka Harley Streten, were less than impressed when concert organisers moved the his show 30 kilometres from Wellington city to Trentham racecourse. According to the event organiser the Wellington venue had to be changed twice because of burgeoning ticket sales.

4. Crowds go wild at Homegrown

Auckland might have the Big Day Out, but we have Homegrown and we love it. About 17,000 fans pack Wellington's water font on March 2 to see a line-up of New Zealand acts Kora, Katchafire, Shihad and Midnight Youth, and more.

5. Lorde: NZ's newest pop star

Singing sensation Lorde seemed to come out of nowhere to worldwide critical acclaim. But she still found time to play a gig in Wellington. Lorde, real name  Ella Yelich-O'Connor, went on to scoop a swag of Tuis at the New Zealand Music Awards before becoming the first New Zealand artist to have their own song at No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

More than 20,000 fans, many dressed up as characters from their favourite sci-fi and fantasy shows, streamed through the doors at the Armageddon Expo, held at Westpac Stadium in February. As well as a line-up of cast and crew from The Hobbit films, fans were treated to an appearance by the original Dr Who, Sylvester McCoy.

7. The cost of internet piracy to  NZ

Dominion Post features writer Nikki McDonald took a hard look at what internet piracy has been doing to our film industry.

8. Actor delivers a knockout performance

Wellington actor Darryn Woods might have taken his role in a Gryphon Theatre production a little too far when he passed out on stage while playing a drugged-up mental health patient in the play Cosi. Woods was OK and audience members were offered tickets to a another performance.

9. Familiar but still mesmerising

After 25 years of haunting stages in 150 cities worldwide, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera made an appearance in Wellington. Wellington Musical Theatre brought The Phantom of the Opera alive in June, and we loved it. 

10. Downstage Theatre to close

Downstage, New Zealand's oldest running professional theatre company, announced in September it would close. The 49-year-old theatre company made the decision after being told that Creative New Zealand would not fund it next year.

The Dominion Post