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Christchurch’s Reimagined World Buskers Festival 2019 Programme Revealed

25 October 2018

A bigger, bolder world-class programme for Christchurch’s reimagined festival, Bread & Circus – World Buskers Festival has been launched – celebrating the unique and diverse range of New Zealand performers, alongside a carefully curated and complementary line-up of international artists.

Building upon the wonderfully rich and much-loved 25 year history of the World Buskers Festival, Bread & Circus integrates the old and the new along the streets of Christchurch and in a range of special venues, including a Spiegeltent and specially curated hospitality hubs around the central city. There will be elements that Cantabrians know and love, and a new range of world class twists and turns that elevate the festival to a new level. Bread & Circus will run from 10 January – 3 February 2019. The festival kicks off with an intensive 10-day program full of exciting free events, exceptional ticketed shows, a large-scale spectacle and world-famous busking pitches. The ticketed program and festival hub will then extend into February.

Scott Maidment, Director of Strut & Fret NZ is excited to present a premium programme of international significance, “Many of these acts have never before been seen in New Zealand. With more than 50 talented performers from around the world, including 22 of New Zealand’s finest, it’s hard to pick favourites, but we’re particularly proud to present LIMBO with its international cast, Piff the Magic Dragon from the UK via Las Vegas, Hot Brown Honey from Australia, and LEO: The Anti-Gravity Show from Canada and Germany.”

Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel says she's delighted that Strut & Fret are bringing their 20 years plus experience to breathe new life into Christchurch's beloved World Buskers Festival, bringing Bread & Circus, a festival of world-class performances, to the heart of the city. "The team at Strut & Fret have promised me that Bread & Circus World Buskers Festival will integrate the old and the new, with elements that everyone knows and loves, and will bring a new range of phenomenal features to elevate the festival to a whole new level." This summer’s festival is bigger and bolder than ever before, with 527 performances and 90 hours of roving performers, an increase from 344 performances earlier this year. The number of buskers doing free street performances will double from 14 in 2018 to 29, with talent from New Zealand and around the world.

New additions include the Festival Hub, home to the gorgeous Victoria Spiegeltent making its New Zealand debut, pop-up bars, delicious food, live music, interactive experiences and surprise acts. The buskers are joined by free roving performers, internationally celebrated acts Skeleton of Colour and Cocoloco. Food has also been incorporated into the Festival with a host of local producers, and some special food and performance fusions. Look out for The Feast of Fools, a moving feast of unexpected food and theatre. Bread & Circus are transforming the Arts Centre Gym into the Backstage Social Club, a place for performances and the social hub of the festival, where you’ll be able to meet performers and hang out with the crew.

The festival will attract a diverse audience of Cantabrians, New Zealanders and international visitors to engage with, and explore, the revitalised city of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Loren Heaphy, General Manager of Destination and Attraction for ChristchurchNZ says, “High profile events like Bread & Circus are vital to our city of opportunity and exploration. Our people love being entertained at them and they bring long-term benefits as they raise our national and global profile and add significant value to our growing economy. ChristchurchNZ is enormously proud of the bold programme that has been unveiled for this iconic event, which has been refreshed and re-aligned to our city’s new major event strategy.”

Festival goers can expect to see Bread & Circus take over the central city with roving buskers roaming the streets, and busking pitches popping up at Christchurch Art Gallery, the Arts Centre North Quad, the Peacock Fountain, Cathedral Square and more. Ticketed shows will take place in the Isaac Theatre Royal, the Assembly Hall and The Old Boys’ Theatre at Christ’s College.

View full programme and purchase tickets