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Canterburians Aren't Only Interested In Rugby!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Who Ever Said Canterburians Were Only Interested In Rugby?

Urban myth has it, that when a big rugby match is on, sales of tickets to art and entertainment events slump. But “Applaud” the Christchurch Arts Festival 2005 is bucking the trend. Despite the final of the Super 12 in Christchurch selling out, tickets sales to the festival have not been dented. In fact quite the opposite has occurred.

“The mood in the province is buoyant; we’re having a phenomenal week,” says director Guy Boyce.

“Tickets to all our big shows are being snapped up. If ticket sales continue the way they are going at the moment, we are going to have a number of shows selling out before the festival begins in July.”

“We’ve planned a more expansive programme for 2005 and it’s struck a cord with Christchurch people.”

Shows that are selling particularly well include the Soweto Gospel Choir, Cirque Eloize’s Nomade and celtic singer Eddie Reader’s concert.

Cirque Eloize which hails from the same Montreal stable as Cirque du Soleil, will be the inaugural performance in the newly refurbished Isaac Theatre Royal. The Festival is able to bring a show of Nomade’s scale thanks to a healthy surplus from “Applaud” 2003.

“We’re taking a punt with Nomade and early indications look as though it was a good one. We’re still holding our breath but sales are continuing to exceed our expectations,” says Boyce.

“We got nearly 400 entries within a day for our weekly giveaway from our email newsletter, The Festival Buzz, which shows there’s a lot of interest in the show.”

“I think Canterbury people have realised that being able to get a show like this to Christchurch is a real privilege.”

And as for the Rugby, consensus in the festival office is a win to the Crusaders.

For full festival details, visit the “Applaud” Christchurch Arts Festival 2005 website,, or collect a copy of the quirky purple programme from outlets around the country or by phoning 0800 ARTS 05.


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