Veteran arts event organisers Sally Barnett and Bronwyn Bent have been announced as the co-directors for the 2018 Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.
Both originally from Hamilton, Barnett and Bent bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the event.
Their arts resume is lengthy and includes stints at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the New Zealand International Arts Festival, the Auckland Fringe Festival and Auckland Live in various roles as producers, directors and audience strategists.
The Melbourne Ska Orchestra headlined the 2014 Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.
The pair’s whirlwind induction has begun with meetings with established festival contractors and Hamilton Gardens staff.
“We are thrilled to be returning to Hamilton to work on this very special festival where unique artistic talents are showcased in the absolutely stunning surrounds of the Hamilton Gardens,” Barnett said.
Planning is well under way, and festival attendees can be assured that favourite events such as the Sunset Symphony, the outdoor film series and the Backyard Beats concert will return.
The Soweto Gospel Choir were the main attraction in 2015.
Recent festivals have featured a range of acclaimed main events, including concerts by the Soweto Gospel Choir and the Melbourne Ska Orchestra.
“Sally and Bronwyn bring with them extensive experience in both artistic programming and management,” festival trust chairman David Macaskill said.
“Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious. We’re looking forward to seeing them utilise their skills and experience, and to continue to grow the festival for the Waikato”.
Festival organisers are now calling for expressions of interest from performers for 2018. A performer registration can be found on hgaf.co.nz, and more information is available on the event’s Facebook page.
Story by Mike Mather – Stuff