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Exciting new appointment for SCIRT World Buskers Festival

Exciting new appointment for SCIRT World Buskers Festival 2015

The SCIRT World Buskers Festival 2015 will have a new leader at the helm with the appointment of festival director, Glen Pickering.

Christchurch’s annual SCIRT World Buskers Festival is one of the biggest street performance festivals in the world offering mostly free, all ages entertainment. The 2015 event held, from 15-25 January, will be the 22nd time the city’s most popular cultural event has been held.

Pickering, who worked for a decade as an actor and director, has more recently worked in arts management and leadership roles with New Zealand Opera, the National Youth Theatre Company and Hawke’s Bay Opera and will be relocating his family to Christchurch in October to head the festival team.

Pickering says the opportunity to take the role appealed both to his family and for the chance to lead an iconic festival with such a strong legacy in a period of change in Christchurch.

“The World Buskers Festival is a massive event that fills Christchurch with energy and joy and I’m extremely excited to be involved. My partner is from Christchurch and we have two young boys, so when this opportunity arose we jumped at it.

“The city’s current process of rejuvenation means Christchurch is an extremely exciting place to be. It also offers us the unique opportunity to evolve the festival along with the redeveloping environment to ensure its success.”

Festival Trust’s Chair, Geoff Cranko, agrees that adapting the festival is a rewarding challenge: “The festival has had to reimagine itself over the last three years. However at the heart of it we are still a street festival and we will be slowly but surely taking the festival back to the streets. We understand the significant role the festival can play in bringing more life and fun into the inner city and we are committed to supporting this.”

While acts and venues will be formally announced towards the end of the year, festival founder Jodi Wright has curated a festival filled with old favourites and hot new performers. The festival in 2015 will return to more free open-air shows in line with the festival’s traditional street spirit.

Both the appointment and festival plans are the source of even more excitement for Cranko: “I’m thrilled that Glen will be joining such an iconic, fun and invigorating event. For 11 days the festival brings locals and visitors together in the middle of Christchurch by providing mostly free, all ages entertainment and already, we can’t wait for January. ”


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