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Whangārei Fringe Festival Cancelled

Whangārei Fringe Festival has made the difficult decision to cancel its 2021 festival.

After postponing the festival from its original dates of October 1-17, the festival team was working to reschedule the festival towards the end of 2021. But Auckland’s continued Covid-19 lockdown and other nationwide restrictions have meant that is no longer possible.

“We held out hope for as long as we could, but Delta’s long tentacle has put an end to Whangārei Fringe 2021,” say co-founders Laurel Devenie, Hayley Clark and Georgia-May Russ. “We fully support what the Government’s doing to keep Delta at bay until as many people as possible are vaccinated. We’re just really disappointed that we can’t put on a buzzy, busy festival for Northland audiences, and we’re gutted for all the artists who’ve worked so hard on their events.”

The festival programme, comprising 134 events, was about to launch when the August lockdown occurred. Theatre highlights included Morgana O’Reilly’s solo show Stories About My Body; Hokianga Meets Chic, a new verbatim autobiographical work starring Noa Campbell and directed by Puti Lancaster; TūRongo Collective’s Nohopuku, which takes audiences into the world of an indigenous child in the mental health system; and award-winning Kiwi sci-fi drama Alone.

The comedy line-up was to feature the likes of Chris Parker, Brynley Stent and Tom Sainsbury, alongside local talents, an award-winning comedy cabaret, and comedy theatre hit Boom Shankar.

Other events spanned music, circus, Queeraoke, art, dance, digital technology and much more. More than half the events were by Northland creatives, and the remainder were from Auckland and around the country.

“To us, Fringe is all about discovering heaps of weird and wonderful events in a city-wide celebration. That can’t happen unless we’re in Level 1, so we’ve accepted it won’t happen this year, and will put our energy into creating an equally exciting festival next year. A fresh start is probably the best thing for everyone in 2022.”

Whangārei Fringe Festival 2022 is scheduled to run from Friday 30 September until Sunday 16 October.

The festival team is grateful to the sponsors who had come on board this year to help make Whangārei Fringe happen: returning sponsors McLeod’s Brewery, new platinum sponsors Northpower, as well as Henderson Reeves, PAK’nSAVE, Level, Plus Chartered Accountants, ASB Bank, Roost, Tiakina Whangārei and Wills Westenra. The team also want to thank the funders who have supported the festival through this uncertain time, including key funders Creative New Zealand and Northland Events Fund.

To stay up to date with future Whangārei Fringe news, check and sign up for the newsletter, and follow them on social media.


Instagram: @whangareifringe

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