Estimated 175,000 flock to TSB Festival of Lights over summer

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NPDC’s TSB Festival of Lights 2023/2024 summer season ended on Sunday once again proving a hit with up to 175,000 visitors turning out – 20 per cent more than last summer’s festival.


The lights went out at the weekend, marking the end of the five-week festival in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park which featured almost 90 events and 14 light installations.


NPDC’s Events Lead, Lisa Ekdahl was delighted with the turnout, continuing the consistent growth the festival has experienced in recent years, particularly after being crowned New Zealand’s Favourite Event for 2021.


“Observing both locals and out-of-town visitors enjoying the lights and music experience we offer every season is incredibly rewarding. The dedication put into organising this free event becomes truly meaningful when met with such overwhelming support.”


Lisa says that the great weather played a big role in the event’s success, with only a handful of event changes needed.


“This event has a huge team behind it with council staff, sponsors, contractors, and volunteers putting in the mahi to support the running of this event. We are thankful to all of those involved.”


She says a more detailed report on the economic impact of the festival and visitor numbers is expected in the next few months.  


If you visited TSB Festival of Lights throughout the summer, we’d love to hear your feedback and invite people to take this survey, which is open until 31 January. 


Fast Facts:

  • The 2023/2024 TSB Festival of Lights ran from 16 December 2023 to 21 January 2024.
  • Up to 140,000 people have visited the TSB Festival of Lights in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park in recent years
  • The 2022/2023 festival season post analysis study by Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) showed it pumped more than $8m into the local economy with 28 per cent of total visits from out of region.
  • Last year’s festival also had a 92% visitor satisfaction rating and 100% from event performers and entertainers.
  • In 2022 the TSB Festival of Lights won two New Zealand Event Association Awards from their last season, including Best Government Event 2023 and New Zealand’s Favourite Event 2021 (as voted by the public).
  • Up to 10,000 people attend the festival’s free New Year’s Eve event.


This year’s TSB Festival of Lights attracted around 175,000 visitors.


Photo Charlotte Curd.