Local talent set to shine at Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up

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Visitors to NPDC’s TSB Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up in central New Plymouth next month are in for a treat with an impressive line-up of performers and nine new light installations – including one representing the Puanga constellation.


The piece featuring beams of light that shoot up into the night sky is presented by the festival in consultation with local hapū Ngāti Te Whiti – one of the many highlights of the entertainment line-up for the 13-16 July festival announced today.


The entertainment line-up has something to suit everyone from funk, reggae and kapa haka to fire poi and DJs in the mix.  The musical line up has been brought together with the support of Ngāti Te Whiti, who secured reggae heavy-hitters, The Groove Hutt featuring Luke Whaanga (Rotorua/Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Taranaki) featuring members of Tomorrow People and Soulovus.


“After the successful debut of the TSB Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up   last year, we are excited to be back!  There will be nine new light installations alongside a couple of fan favourites from previous festivals,” says NPDC Events Lead Lisa Ekdahl.

While the festival is being held over the Matariki long weekend, Taranaki and Whanganui iwi mark Māori New Year by observing Puanga, which happens in June or July. 


Last year’s inaugural event attracted more than 15,000 people over four nights and this year the event footprint is being extended into the Egmont Street carpark, which will house two installations. 


Festival organisers are also going to make it easy for people to move throughout the festival closing off a section of Ariki Street and Centre City Shopping Centre is providing free parking via its St Aubyn Street entrance between 5pm – 10.30pm each night.


“Puanga is a special time to celebrate with friends and whānau, and Venture Taranaki/Te Puna Umanga are thrilled to support the second presentation of the Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up, as the event looks to build on its outstanding debut, encouraging visitation at what would traditionally be a quieter period for our visitor economy,” says Brylee Flutey, Te Puna Umanga/ Venture Taranaki, GM Destination.

“We look forward to seeing visitors and locals alike out in force and experiencing the installations, as well as providing an additional economic boost to the surrounding CBD.”


The full TSB Festival of Lights: Winter Pop-Up line-up can be found at festivaloflights.nz


Fast Facts:

  • The 2022 festival received a 92 per cent satisfaction rate with over 15,000 event visitors.
  • Puanga refers to the celebration of the Māori New Year, observed by Taranaki iwi which happens in June or July. Other iwi refer to this celebration as Matariki due to landing on the public holiday weekend in Aotearoa.
  • The lighting and entertainment line-up will feature both local and national artists.
  • 140,000 people enjoyed the 2022/23 NPDC backed free summer festival held in Pukekura Park.