Kiwi acts prove a winner for festival-goers
It may be an international arts celebration but it's the New Zealand shows that have captured the attention of arts lovers.
With only two weeks until opening night the countdown to the Taranaki International Arts Festival has began and already 15 performances have sold out.
Of the favourites the majority are Kiwi acts with one proving so popular they have been asked to return for an additional performance, festival coordinator Cleo Wood said.
The two shows of Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow's theatre piece (MAMIL)Middle Aged Man In Lycra sold out so a third had been added, she said.
In addition to the funny-man's act, tickets to both Daffodils shows and comedian Michele A'Court's two much-anticipated performances have also flown out the door.
But it's not only the shows which offer limited performances that have had excited festival-goers snapping up stubs.
Wood said groups taking the stage in multiple performances such as Modern Maori Quartet, Camille O'Sullivan, The Mooncake and the Kumara, Lines From the Nile and White Cloud all have a single sell-out show with remaining tickets flying out the door.
In comparison to the biennial arts festival's last run, tickets sales have shown a considerable increase, Wood said.
"Sales are noticeably stronger than last festival, for the same period.
"Our 2013 post-festival survey revealed people requesting that we bring back the Spiegeltent for 2015. We've listened to our audience and attribute this as one of the reasons for strong sales."
Installation of theSpiegeltent, dubbed "one of the most beautiful venues in the world," will begin next week in the same location as previous festivals, the carpark opposite the TSB Showplace.
Wood said the countdown had brought the small TAFT team into a state of anticipation as festival planning moved into its implementation phase.
"This is always an exciting time, and means we're on track."