Arts festival: 'You're in for quite a treat'
A dishevelled man trying to hock “an early John Constable painting” was among the crowd at the Refinery Artspace for a highlight of the Nelson arts calendar.
Body in Space performer Roger Sanders was in character as “Honest John” from an “artistic merchandise and investment consultancy”, but no-one seemed willing to cough up for the so-called valuable painting.
Perhaps it was because they were there for a couple of other reasons - wine, nibbles, hobnobbing, a photo-booth, the band Mint and the official launch of the 18th annual Nelson Arts Festival (NAF) programme.
The 17-day celebration of national and international theatre, dance, cabaret, music and culture opens in mid-October.
NAF director Sophie Kelly said the Masked Parade fell at the start of Labour Weekend, which was a great time for out-of-town visitors to visit and see the spectacle for themselves.
Mrs Kelly said the theme for the parade was "myths and legends" and the festival team had already received record entries, with more than 3000 people registered.
The parade would be followed by a free event in Trafalgar St that same night - the More FM Carnivale, with street performances, food stalls and bands.
Mrs Kelly said the festival programme included deliberately challenging pieces from socially and culturally diverse artists, from avant-garde New York violinist Hahn-Bin to Kiwi crowd pleasers like The Topp Twins and Trinity Roots.
Headline acts included Live Live Cinema - Carnival of Souls, a “visual and aural feast” based on a 1960s B-grade horror film, overlaid with live actors and musicians.
TSB Bank has come on board as one of the festival's key sponsors and chief executive Kevin Murphy said he hoped it would be a long relationship.
“It's a wonderful and exciting programme. You're in for quite a treat,” he said.
Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio said the Nelson City Council was proud of the festival as the arts were significant in building communities.
"There's something for all of us to look forward to," he said.
The full festival programme is available from Nelson City Council, Everyman Records, libraries, retailers, cafes and key visitor outlets in Nelson or at nelsonartsfestival.co.nz.
Nelson Arts Festival 2012 runs from October 12 to 28.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with the Nelson City Council's decision to relax rules on freedom camping in the city?Related story: (See story)