Reinvented festival brings the buskers back to town
A tale of Shakespearean bastards, open air bingo and a man on a
pogo stick juggling machetes. It can only mean one thing - the
return of the World Buskers Festival to Christchurch.
The festival opens with evening shows tomorrow and street
performances on Friday. Dozens of performers from around the world
are converging on Christchurch for 600 performances over 11
The street performers will take to three stages in North Hagley
Park and two pitches in the Re:Start mall, while the evening shows
will be held in two large tents in the park, the Mashina Lounge at
the Christchurch Casino and and the Gap Filler Pallet Pavilion.
Highlights include the return of Canterbury performer Sam Wills'
global hit show The Boy with Tape on his Face,
singing diva Le Gateau Chocolat, outrageous
comedy duo Daredevil Chicken Club and Keith Preene's Golden Goose
Bingo in the Pallet Pavilion. New shows include
Michele A'Court's one woman show Stuff I Forgot to Tell my
Daughter, local performer David Ladderman's
Shakespeare-inspired comedy show Battle of the Bastards and
Lili la Scala's Songs to Make you Smile.
Festival director Jodi Wright said the festival had developed to
include more fringe and burlesque shows.
"It has been really interesting as the festival grows it has
pulled fringe and street performers together," she said.
"I like to reinvent the festival every year and introduce new
things. I like to throw in some surprises. It's my challenge to
keep it fresh and interesting."
Burlesque, which was first introduced at the festival in 2011,
has slowly grown and developed in Christchurch, she said. This
year, former Cirque de Soleil performer Nate Cooper, boylesque
Kidd and Australian performance artist Imogen
Kelly make up the burlesque bill.
"Burlesque is very popular. It has grown worldwide. We have
quite a few popular and famous burlesque performers here this
"But the core of our festival has always been street performers,
the pull is still street performers. More people see street
performers than the evening shows."
Wright said it was worth bringing back British singer Le Gateau Chocolat as many
people missed out on tickets last year.
"When we bring a show out like Gateau Chocolat - the first four
or five nights are very slow.
"But once the review came out we were turning people away. He is
worth bringing back. There were a lot people that wanted to see him
and missed him."
Wright said street performers to look out for included
the United States, Pancho Libre from Mexico and
- © Fairfax NZ News