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All that jazz: Big Band Festival

Dust off your dancing shoes because the Christchurch Big Band Festival is gearing up for its 14th annual musical extravaganza this Labour weekend. Through rain, shine, earthquakes and now a global pandemic; the sweet sounds of smooth jazz will be gracing the city’s ears during the unique five-day music festival.



Performers from all over New Zealand will flood in, followed by hundreds of partners and supporters, for the much-anticipated event. Riverside Market, Salt (Evolution) Square, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Tūranga Library, and many more quintessential Canterbury locations will serve as the backdrop for 24 mini concerts.

Run by the community for the community, it is an event for everyone to enjoy whether you are part of the swing dance community, a proud parent or supporter, jazz enthusiast or a curious passer-by.

A new and unique feature this year is the debut of the Big Band Ball at Welles Street on Sunday October 25. For $40 you can get your swing on and dance the night away to three amazing big bands.

Continuous canapes and a cash bar will equal a great night – and perhaps some sore feet for the famous big band picnic the following day.

The festival runs from October 22 to 26, 2020, with something for all ages from early child to the retired. For more information about the festival, programme or ticketed events visit the festival website.


Join the culture club

Christchurch’s bustling social calendar provides a compelling backdrop for the city’s informal culture club to congregate and convene. With some of the city’s best and brightest events, from art to music and everything in between, it’s time to join the culture club.



1. Bananas, babies and beige

Hitting The Piano from 20-21 September, deep from within the mind of Phoebe Hurst (you know, that chick from Hedwig & the Angry Inch and Kiwi musical hit That Bloody Woman), is WORM – a one-woman-devised, part-improvised show. Bananas, babies and beige – you will never see them the same again.

Bookings from Eventbrite



2. Big band blast

Have a blast on Labour Weekend with Big Band Festival. From 25-28 October, more than 20 jazz groups will play dozens of free concerts in spaces around town, with featured artists giving not-to-be-missed concerts in the recently opened Town Hall. This festival has become a highlight of the music calendar!



3. The Pink Hammer

From 7 September to 5 October, catch hilarious and heartwarming Kiwi comedy The Pink Hammer at the Court Theatre, where you’ll find out-of-work, disgruntled builder Woody, who’s less than impressed to find four sheilas amongst his claw hammers.