What to See: Splore's Living Lounge

The performance art at Splore is as important as the music lineup

Hollie Smith performs at Splore this weekend. Picture / Supplied

The annual Splore festival is as much about performance and visual art as it is about music, and this year’s Yealands Living Lounge features a diverse range of acts from a heavy metal Swedish circus artist who creates "mayhem" with ping-pong balls to the New Zealand Dance Company.

The three-day festival, on this weekend from Friday to Sunday at Tapapakanga Regional Park, attracts more than 8000 people. A regular highlight is the cabaret-style dress-up party on the Saturday night at the Living Lounge, which this year is themed "Strangely Familar".

Performance director Emma Herbert Vickers, who curates the stage's programme, says the acts playing at the party are the "perfect concoction of insanely talented singers and circus artists".

"I’ve created a storyline, so rather than simply a lineup of acts there is a theatrical feel, and relationships, however strange, connect this freaky family," she explains. 

"I want the acts to impact people’s emotions, their funny bones, their adrenalin, their minds and their deepest nerves . . . to get them high on everything they see. I want people to venture into our zone, stay, watch and leave imbibed with a cocktail of visual and aural colour."

Here, Emma shares her picks from the Living Lounge lineup.

  • David Eriksson’s ‘Pink on the Inside’ - "Gut-busting and gender-blending heavy metal ping-pong ball mayhem." 10.45pm Friday.
  • New Zealand Dance Company's Lumina - "Full light, AV dance theatre spectacle." 9pm-10pm Friday.
  • Twerk It Out - Twerking workshops Saturday and cabaret stage twerk-invasion Saturday night. 1.30pm-2.30pm, 4pm-5pm, 11.45pm Saturday.
  • Dust Palace at the cabaret, with a four-poster bed full of acrobats. 11.10pm, 11.30pm Saturday.
  • MC Yana Alana - "She’s big, ballsy and might be blue." Strangely Familiar host.
  • Hollie Smith - "Four songs of deliciousness onstage amongst the cabaret." 10.55pm Saturday.

Splore is on this weekend from Friday to Sunday at Tapapakanga Park, Deerys Rd, Orere Pt. Full weekend tickets are $295 plus booking fee from iticket.co.nz, including free camping.


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