12 Oct 2013

Nelson Arts Festival kicks off

8:08 am on 12 October 2013

Live bands, cutting-edge theatre and an internationally acclaimed dance troupe are part of this year's Nelson Arts Festival programme.

About 10,000 people are expected at the ticketed shows at the festival, which starts this weekend, and up to 30,000 are anticipated at next week's masked parade.

One of the highlights of the fortnight-long programme is the Atamira Dance Company's production Kaha, which displays the diversity of Maori contemporary dance.

The company has recently returned from an overseas tour, including performing at the America's Cup regatta in San Francisco.

Festival director Sophie Kelly says there's also a range of free performances open to everyone at Founders heritage park.