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“The only noteworthy exhibition in NZ dedicated to performance in all of its forms”
– Bruce Phillips (2018), A Contextual Tightrope

About the Event

Running Since 2011
 

The Performance Arcade is an acclaimed live art event that attracts 60,000-90,000 people every year to Wellington Waterfront. Every year since 2011 audiences have come for an exciting and diverse programme of works by NZ and International artists, presented within an architectural arrangement of shipping containers.

This innovative space for live art, music and performance presentation offers new encounters between artists and the public. Opening onto the bustling life of the Wellington Waterfront, these sites of encounter engage the public in contemporary art and performance practices outside the familiar constraints of gallery or theatre spaces.

The free admission and waterfront location makes this miniature festival accessible to a broad community, developing empowered audiences and participants in the creative and cultural life of Wellington. Over two long weekends every summer, The Performance Arcade becomes a vibrant hub on the waterfront: activating the city, and exposing communities to new ideas and cultural perspectives.

10am–11pm Daily

Experience world-class live music, arts and performance from New Zealand and International artists, for free on Wellington Waterfront. The festival is open from 10am - 11pm on each day of presentation, with container works running until 10pm. See the schedule for music and waterfront performance times.

Container Series

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Using a series of architecturally arranged shipping containers, The Performance Arcade creates innovative spaces for installation, performance art, sonic art and interactive media. These sites of encounter engage the public in contemporary art and performance practices outside the familiar constraints of gallery or theatre spaces. Open 10am-11pm on each day of the festival.

Waterfront Series

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Some works are uncontainable. This programme features works that travel along the waterfront and into the city, opening up new dialogues between live art and urban environments. The Waterfront Series transforms the whole city into a theatre, inviting audiences to discover new experiences at every corner.

Live Music Series

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With a prime waterfront location, the Fortune Favours live music series stage provides the perfect spot for sunny afternoons and long summer evenings. Relaxed daytime sessions evolve into energetic nighttime sets, with a programme featuring some of Aotearoa’s finest. Eclectic line-ups create opportunity for new musical discoveries, and a chance to catch old Wellington favourites expand and experiment.
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