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Escape! back to Tauranga

Swim by Annette Lees
Short story writer and GP Andrew Corin
The 'little festival with big ideas' reimagined as a pop-up


Rising from the ashes of June’s cancelled event, a ‘pop-up’ version of the popular Escape! festival will take place in Tauranga on October 17 and 18 with tickets on sale from Wednesday, September 16.

As long as the nation remains at Alert Level 2, tickets will be limited to 100 per paid event and all social distancing requirements observed within auditoriums. Should we move to Level 1 during the sales period, the remaining tickets will be released immediately.

The Tauranga Arts Festival Trust Board was adamant the city shouldn’t miss out on the ‘little festival with big ideas’ in 2020 and is staging the event out of its reserves.

“We’re choosing to take the financial risk as every board member firmly believes the arts are the heart and soul of community,” board chair Kathryn Lellman says. “We think people are ready for Escape!”

Guests include Tom Scott, who last month published a biography of Kiwi war hero Charles Upham, the only combat soldier to have been awarded two Victoria Cross medals; Te Radar, with a humorous look at some of the byways in our history; thriller writer Nikki Crutchley; business commentator Rod Oram; award-winning science communicator Shaun Hendy; and outdoor swimming advocate Annette Lees.

Among Tauranga area talent on stage are short story writer and GP Andrew Corin; marine scientist Dr Kura Paul-Burke; small-town champion Karen Summerhays; hospital chaplain Matiu Best; and bird expert Paul Cuming.

Tickets, from the Tauranga Arts Festival website or Baycourt box office, include day passes and $5 tickets for students (with ID). See the full programme at

Contact details:

Written by

Sandra Simpson

15 Sep 2020