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Festival fever takes hold –

7 December 2005

Festival fever takes hold –

50,000 tickets issued already! Tickets to the New Zealand International Arts Festival are hot! Sales are 20 percent higher than at the same time for the 2004 Festival, with 50,000 tickets already issued in the first five weeks of national ticket availability.

"This is a great indication of how well the Festival programme has been received by the public. It's always nerve wracking for me to see what the public will embrace so it's great to see Festival fever taking hold," says Carla van Zon, the Festival's Artistic Director.

International events such as the Lexus Season of The History Boys, the New Zealand Post Season of Les Arts Sauts and Bright Abyss are proving very popular as expected.

"This is the strongest theatre line-up you are likely see anywhere in the world. Having theatre superstar and my favourite director Robert Lepage's work The Dragon's Trilogy; two award-winning National Theatre productions (The History Boys and the TV3 Season of Tristan & Yseult); the sublime theatre of one of Germany's leading directors with the Telecom Season of Eraritjaritjaka; and our first-ever international commission the Clemenger BBDO season of Super Vision all within one Festival is exceptional. It's a theatre junkie's dream," adds van Zon.

"It's important to book early for the one-night-only concerts such as jazz legend Pat Metheny, Senegalese superstars Orchestra Baobab, world-renowned UK composer James MacMillan or sonic sculptor Talvin Singh. These concerts and those that are in the smaller intimate venue such as The National Bank Festival are going fast. The three late night Fat Freddy's Drop gigs at the club have already sold out."

The Festival, which takes place from 24 February until 19 March 2006, brings over 1,000 artists from 27 different countries to the capital to perform a total of 121 events and 275 individual performances. This immense logistical feat also brings 12 containers of scenery by sea and 35 tonnes of airfreight to New Zealand.

The set and costumes for Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun's opera Tea: A Mirror of Soul have already set sail from Lyon in France and arrive in January. Building the huge set for Alan Bennett's award-winning play The History Boys has also begun in Miramar. It is being constructed by set builders who worked on Peter Jackson's King Kong and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The job is particularly challenging as it must be packed down to fit in two aeroplanes at the end of performances in Wellington to be flown to the next destination.

Don't delay - get your Festival tickets today from Ticketek. For more information, pick up a Festival booking brochure from branches of The National Bank, Information Centres, Ticketek offices or from the Festival website

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