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NZ Festival 2000 Launches Today


The Official Festival Mascot - See http://nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/

Wellington's biannual International Festival of the Arts kicks off today with expectations it will be the biggest and most profitable festival yet.

Around 2000 artists from 23 countries are involved in the official festival programme. They will present over 120 performances in the next three and a half weeks.

More than 200,000 tickets have already been sold - more than for the entire programme last year - a phenomena largely attributable to the 80,000 tickets sold to the Edinburgh Tattoo which is performing outside Scotland for the first time ever at the Festival.

The Wellington Festival has been profitable since 1992 and this year is planning to pull in $9 million in ticket sales.

Around town the Festival spirit has been underway for more than a week. Last Saturday night saw the launch party for the Fringe Festival at a dance party attended by more than 2000 in an underground carpark.

Scoop has a photographer on the streets for the festival - Tori Buttle - and will be publishing news, reviews, views and images in the Arts and Culture wire for the duration.

Performers with stories to tell - or readers with hot tips on what is worth seeing, or not, should send them to culture@scoop.co.nz.


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