Our Festivals

TAFT brings new experiences to Taranaki and our people.

TAFT brings exciting festival experiences to Taranaki audiences, including events like the Centuria Taranaki Garden Festival, Right Royal Cabaret Festival, REIMAGINE Festival, Winter Fest, Spiegel Fest, and WOMAD NZ.

Browse this page to view our upcoming, current, and most recently held festivals.

CENTURIA TARANAKI GARDEN FESTIVAL 2023

Experience Glorious Gardens

Festival dates: 27 October - 5 November, 2023

The Centuria Taranaki Garden Festival, formerly the Rhododendron Festival established in 1987, is a celebration of glorious gardens around Taranaki, which is fast becoming known as the garden capital of New Zealand.

Held over 10 days, the garden festival entices visitors with its 40 award-winning gardens, parks, and open spaces. While the public gardens are the festival gems, it is the private gardens open exclusively for the festival that is a must-see.

REIMAGINE FESTIVAL 2023

Arts, Vision, Places

Festival dates: 5-15 October, 2023

Taranaki Arts Festival Trust presented a new festival, Reimagine: Arts – Vision – Places in 2023. Over 10 days, we invited attendees to reimagine arts in new places, where the only thing to expect was the unexpected. This festival is a celebration of International, New Zealand and Taranaki artists and events in all their diversity.  

Reimagine is a unique smorgasbord of shows that resonated with all ages. It brings storytelling and new perceptions through acrobatics, culture, dance and more. This programme was designed to entertain, challenge, and inspire.

 

RIGHT ROYAL CABARET FESTIVAL 2023

Cabaret came to town!

Festival dates: 22-25 June, 2023

We were delighted to bring the Right Royal Cabaret Festival back to Taranaki for 2023!

The programme was jammed packed with performances that we know left you in a state of amazement with an impressive festival line-up celebrating cabaret in all its forms. The Theatre Royal was home to the festival which brought warmth to the winter nights, included were two regional performances in Inglewood and Stratford.

The festival, also presented in 2012 , 2018 and 2021 by the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, has grown in popularity with audiences who have enjoyed performances from some of the leading cabaret artists across Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

SPEAKEASY

A two-day writers and readers festival that focuses on the strength and depth of contemporary New Zealand literature.

Festival dates: 09–10 July, 2022

SPEAKEASY Writers Fest features some of the most captivating authors in Aotearoa today, both fiction and non-fiction. Over two days, we’re inviting you to push your mind to be observant, let curiosity take over, and challenge your perceptions with modern literature.

The festival includes talks, interviews, Q&A sessions, and book signings with award-winning authors, poets, adventurers, comedians, scholars, etc.

SPEAKEASY is a mini festival with a smaller audience capacity, programmed to run at the “red” level. We encourage all avid readers to book their tickets early, as limited tickets are available, and settle in for a weekend of ideas and conversations celebrating the written word in fiction and non-fiction forms.

Centuria Taranaki Garden Festival

A spring celebration of glorious gardens and events

Festival Dates : 28 Oct - 6 Nov 2022

The Centuria Taranaki Garden Festival, formerly the Rhododendron Festival established in 1987, is a celebration of glorious gardens around Taranaki, which is fast becoming known as the garden capital of New Zealand.

Held over 10 days, the garden festival entices visitors with its 40 award-winning gardens, parks, and open spaces. While the public gardens are the festival gems, it is the private gardens open exclusively for the festival that is a must-see.

Spiegel Fest

An intense weekend of comedy, music and cabaret!

Festival dates: 10–20 November, 2022

The first Spiegeltent venues were hand-crafted from wood and ‘spiegel’ or mirrored glass in the Nineteenth Century. Touring through Northern Europe, they would bring the excitement of the Dance Hall to the small towns and villages that lacked these venues.

Today in New Zealand we are lucky enough to have our very own modern version, the glorious Pacific Crystal Palace, and it’s been our pleasure to bring it to Taranaki for our arts festivals.

WOMAD NZ

World of Music, Arts and Dance

Festival Dates: 17-19 March, 2023

WOMAD New Zealand is very proud to bring together artists from all over the globe to celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance through diversity, tolerance, empathy and to expose cultures to Aotearoa in the effort to spread understanding and celebration of difference.

WOMAD festivals are family-oriented, diverse and active musical events; sometimes offering as many as seven stages within the festival site. Since the first festival in the UK in 1982, WOMAD has held more than 160 festivals, creating events in twenty-seven countries and islands all over the world, including: Abu Dhabi, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UK, and the United States of America.

We have presented more than one thousand artists at our festivals, bringing the expression of more than 100 different countries to a live audience of over one million people.

WOMAD New Zealand could not be achieved without the help of all its sponsors, which are wide ranging from local to national businesses and organisations.

Right Royal Cabaret Fest

Warm up your Winter!

Festival Dates : July 2023

Right Royal Cabaret Fest, brought to you by Tandem Group Chartered Accountants, takes place over a winter weekend and is the perfect festival to heat those chilly winter nights!
The Theatre Royal is the home to the cabaret fest, where stories are told through sultry cabaret, hilarious comedy and magical theatre, all taking place in the intimate surrounds of a night club setting.
The festival, also presented in 2012, 2018, and 2021 has grown in popularity with performances from some of the leading cabaret artists across New Zealand and the world.

Winter Fest

A winter wonderland of ideas, words and stories told through an unforgettable collection of comedy, music, theatre.

Festival dates: Winter 2024

Winter Fest was the first festival to set the stage and warm the region’s winter blues, a winter-wonderful programme celebrating stories and the power of words and expression.

Winter Fest offered an unforgettable collection of entertainment with a range of passionately charming stories, belly-aching comedic sketches, and breathtaking performance of theatre and dance.

Learn about our history

TAFT has been presenting festivals since 1991

Step back in time and view our festival archive to see historical programmes, posters, videos, photos and other festival gems! Check it out now: