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Announcing the 2020 New Zealand Fringe Festival

Get Fringey in 2020
Join us for the 30th NZ Fringe!
Building Creative Community in the 21st Century
Buy Your Tickets Early and Often!
Help Us Build Creative Community!
30 Years of Art, Performance, and Cultural Expression!
Fringe Will Be Everywhere 28 February to 21 March 2020!
Hold onto your creative bits! Wellington's Fringe is turning 30, and it's the largest, most diverse festival ever!


Something mighty is happening in Wellington, and it involves thousands of creative people, hundreds of events, and new works across theatre, dance, spoken word, music, and experimental performance. The 2020 New Zealand Fringe Festival programme was announced last week at Te Auaha with a spectacular launch by the Hon. Grant Robertson, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage. And as he noted, it is the most diverse cultural expression of Aotearoa ever.

"I’d like to start tonight by acknowledging the artists, the creators, the storytellers, the poets, dreamers, and the midwives of our culture," said chief executive Eric Holowacz. "It’s you I love. You tell us who we are, good and evil. You provoke and challenge us, entice us to respond. You show us fearlessness. What’s more, you make us feel things, connect us to the unknown, immerse us in the comical, the tragic, the metaphysical. You creative lot—you are the engine of our Fringe.

The 28 February to 21 March festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and a bit of the undefined. The 30th edition of Fringe is also the festival’s most ambitious yet, with over 150 unique productions and events from local, national, and international artists.

"It’s exciting and extraordinary and also, there are changes afoot, so who knows what the next 30 years will hold,” said Sasha Tilly, the festival Operations Manager. “Over half of the 2020 programme listings feature practitioners based in Wellington. The rest are a mix of national and international offerings who come to delight audiences, whatever their tastes may be."

Tilly leads a 2020 team that includes Festival Coordinator Rose Jang, Marketing Manager Charlotte Wooster, Events coordinator Phil Loizou, and Volunteer Coordinator Ella Carling. Together with almost 500 artists, producers, and creative people, the 2020 New Zealand Fringe will offer a season filled with so much creative opportunity that audiences will delight in an abundance of artistic riches.

"Once upon a time, thirty years ago actually, there was no New Zealand Fringe. It took inspired people, a nurturing village, then a city, and a nation to make it the incredible festival we know today," said Holowacz, as he helped launch the programme. "After 2,317 shows, hundreds of temporary event venues across the region, and thousands of box office reports, we look to the 2020 Fringe to give us something new and fresh. And it will. Each artist and actor has something to say. Every event or production will become embedded as a small part of our culture.

Tickets and information are now available for each of the 153 unique productions on offer durng the 2020 New Zealand Fringe Festival at The printed programme is available at locations across Wellington, and a walk-up box office will be annoucned in January. 

New Zealand Fringe Festival is a programme of Creative Capital Arts Trust, one of Wellington’s leading non-profit cultural organisations. The festival is generously made possible by Wellington City Council, Creative New Zealand, Wellington International Airport, Inject, NV Interactive, Wellington Community Trust, and Victoria University of Wellington. Additional support and encouragement are provided by Garage Project, Havana Coffee Works, Bicycle Junction, Resene, Radio Active, Phantom Billstickers, The Wellington Company, Australian High Commission, Skinny Fizz, Co-liberate, and KPMG.

Get Fringey with your New Year's resolutions, consult the festival programme, and become part of something mighty creative in 2020. Invite a friend or three, and make the 30th anniversary New Zealnad Fringe Festival great, 28 February to 21 March 2020. 


Further information: 

Wellington's Fringe Festival, one of New Zealand’s most diverse and spectacular celebrations of new creative works, is three weeks of artistic innovation and organised chaos. In 2020, Fringe will mark its 30th anniversary from 28 February to 22 March at venues all over Wellington Region. Over 150 unique productions and events will fill the calendar with over 600 presentations and opportunities to explore, connect with, and experience cultural identity. 

Our Fringe is open-access—so anyone can be part of it, produce a show, tell their story, leave their creative mark. The Fringe team are here to support artists, producers, and creative ideas. Our organisation, Creative Capital Arts Trust, is based at Toi Poneke Arts Center in Te Aro, Wellington. And our professional staff offer workshops, guidance, professional development, and special events throughout the year. 

Inspired by the Fringe Festival models in Edinburgh and Adelaide, the New Zealand equivalent has built a solid reputation for diverse and exciting programming featuring innovative, emerging, and original arts productions—everything from theatre, comedy, film, and dance to lectures, visual arts, and community collaborations. The Fringe platform provides unique opportunities for emerging artists to stage new works, a place for established artists to experiment and collaborate, and countless opportunities for audiences to get immersed in it all. To learn more, or get involved, email us at

Creative Capital Arts Trust is the non-profit charity that produces both the free CubaDupa street festival and New Zealand Fringe Festival. We support over 1,600 artists and 150,000 audience members each year by presenting or facilitating around 260 different shows comprising 900 performances or presentations of theatre, dance, music, comedy, visual art and everything in between. As an organisation, we focus on creative identity, cultural wellbeing, the development of artists and audiences, and accessibility for all. The trust also plays a crucial role in providing new and ongoing platforms for people to experience New Zealand performances and artistic content, and we invite you to join us in that mission.

Contact details:

Written by

Eric Vaughn Holowacz

22 Dec 2019

Eric Vaughn Holowacz was born in Princeton, New Jersey and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended Irmo High School, and was a member of its National Championship academic Quiz Bowl Team in 1986.