Christchurch ignites as SCIRT World Buskers Festival 2014 launches

16 January 2014 

Jugglers, trapeze artists, comedians, dancers, contortionists and cabaret performers have travelled from around the globe to perform in Christchurch as the SCIRT World Buskers Festival 2014 launches today.

North Hagley Park has once again been transformed into Busker Park as the 11-day festival kicks off in New Zealand’s garden city.

The festival will run from 16 – 26 January and is set to host to 55 acts from 10 countries performing at Busker Park and a range of other venues across the city.

The 21-year-old festival has grown dramatically since its early days on central city streets of Christchurch to become one of the biggest and most popular street performance festivals in the world and Artistic Director Jodi Wright is amazed at the shape it’s taken. The festival has grown into the most popular event in Christchurch’s cultural calendar, attracting around 300,000 show attendees each year.

“This year we’ve got fringe-style theatre, cabaret and some of the best burlesque performers in the world, as well as our traditional street performers. It’s a festival of the weird, wonderful and wildly talented,” says Wright.

Wright believes the mainstreaming of some of the festival’s mainstay attractions also contributes to the event’s ongoing success.

“Thanks to groups like Cirque de Soleil, who a number of our performers have toured with, circo-arts are recognised as an incredibly skilful form of entertainment and we’re seeing highly professional shows attracting big crowds.”

The iconic event has had to adapt from its traditional central city street base as the central city rebuilds following the Canterbury earthquakes and is now in its third year at Busker Park in North Hagley Park, a temporary entertainment mecca with onsite food and licensed vendors and corporate hosting at the SCIRT Busker Comedy Club.

The festival also spreads the laughs across the city, hosting shows at The Terrace Pitch, Lane Neave Music Pitch – Re:Start Mall, Gap Filler Pallet Pavilion, Botanic Gardens, Mashina Lounge – Christchurch Casino, The Press Club – Christ’s College and at New Brighton basketball courts.

“Every year is more exciting than the last and each time we face new challenges as we push ourselves to deliver something great, particularly in this rebuild environment, so it’s great to see the launch date arrive,” says Wright.

“Once again, we’re proud to be bringing this festival and these acts to Kiwi shores.”

To beat the queue and book pre-release seats and view the full programme visit www.worldbuskersfestival.com