Festival Information

Otago Festival of the Arts Trust was established in 1999 to present a biennial arts festival in Dunedin. There are two simple 'catch phrases' which encapsulate what this Festival is all about - "celebrating the excellent and the extraordinary" "a boutique festival in a boutique city."

Since the inaugural Festival in 2000 the Festival has fostered these simple policies. "Bigger is not necessarily better; developing a sustainable, manageable and exciting event is paramount" says founding Director Nicholas McBryde. "Dunedin is a city of 130,000 citizens - we need to primarily cater for this catchment by offering as much as our money can buy. And to date, having now produced ten Festivals we are very proud to have always offered a fabulous arts event to our region."  The October 2016 celebration enjoyed more sold out shows and standing ovations than ever before, and Arts Festival Dunedin presented the Tenth Anniversary edition 21 - 30 September 2018. This was the founding Director's final season.

The Festival has as its corporate brand a "silk" created by the Victorian artist, designer, typographer and manufacturer William Morris. This has served the Festival well - it is elegant, can be used in various permutations and fits well with the historic Victorian and Edwardian architecture of Dunedin - the Edinburgh of the South.


Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Helen Clark

Karen Billinghurst
Lynley Bunton
Shelley Griffiths
Michael Guthrie
Andrea Insch
Trevor Kempton, CHAIR
Christine McNamara
Greg Paterson


Charlie Unwin, Director