Song festival hits a high note for NZ in 2024

Arts, Culture and Heritage Economic and Regional Development

New Zealand is set to host a major international festival of song after a government-backed bid won the rights to the 2024 World Choir Games.

The Ministers for Arts Culture and Heritage and Economic and Regional Development have congratulated the New Zealand Choral Federation for winning the hosting bid. The bid to international choir organisation Interkultur was backed by $7 million from the government’s Major Events Fund.

“The World Choir Games occurs every two years and is the largest international choral festival. Hundreds of choirs and up to 15,000 people are expected to take part,” said Carmel Sepuloni.

“Global travel remains disrupted by COVID-19 but it is heartening to be able to plan and look forward to an international festival of song, featuring choirs from more than 50 nations. This event has an international reputation for attracting the world’s best choirs.

“We have almost four years to plan for this event. During this time we will continue to seek the best medical and scientific advice about the impact of COVID and border restrictions. Strong public health measures will remain central to making it a success.

“It will incorporate locally produced performances, pōwhiri, kapa haka rōpū and taonga pūoro. Waiata Maori and pese Samoa will be on show to an international community that shares our love of singing.

 “I am proud that the music of Aotearoa will feature prominently. The opening and closing ceremonies will be a unique showcase of the diverse Māori, Pacific and European singing traditions of Aotearoa,” said Ms Sepuloni.

“Auckland is set to host the games over eleven days in July 2024 with concert halls, churches and sports and cultural venues used as locations for the major concerts,” said Mr Nash.

“Images of full rugby stadiums and crowds of spectators at sporting events have beamed around the world in the past few months to underline our global reputation for eliminating COVID19. Now cultural events like the World Choir Games will further build our reputation as a safe destination.

“We are backing the World Choir Games because it will deliver economic, social and cultural benefits for New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours. This is the first time the event has been held in the Oceania region.

“As Tourism Minister I am also delighted at the opportunity to promote ‘brand New Zealand’ through this festival, and tell our story as a safe, appealing and friendly nation in key international markets in Europe, Asia, and North America,” said Mr Nash.

If the event has to be cancelled or significantly scaled down due to the impacts of COVID19, any uncommitted funding would be returned to the Major Events Fund.