The Performance Arcade, an invigorating festival of performance art and live music, is set to return for its fourteenth year on the Waterfront of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) from February 21 to 25, 2024. Running annually since 2011, this free-to-enter and family-friendly event has become a staple in the city’s cultural calendar.

This year, as part of the 2024 Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, The Arcade’s, programme envisions the artist as time traveller, world builder, and navigator, and invites audiences to look beyond the horizon of our current moment to imagine alternate possibilities through a five-day celebration of creativity. This year’s festival features 15 live art and performance experiences, 15 live music performances, a Fortune Favours pop-up bar, a pop-up bookstore, diverse food truck options, and spontaneous art performances. The festival will be housed on the Waterfront of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) behind Te Papa, within a unique temporary architecture constructed from shipping containers.

Mātiro Whakamua, gifted by Artist Charles Koroneho, speaks to the kaupapa and direction that the 2024 Performance Arcade seeks to embrace. “This year’s series of international and Indigenous artists highlight works that explore the space, wā and vā between the individual and community, challenge existing paradigms, and bring forth a renewed sense of purpose and inclusivity,” says Associate Director Nat-Lîm. “By creating an environment that fosters reflection and dialogue, we seek to inspire change and contribute to an artistic landscape that values the wellbeing of the collective. This principle of ethics resonates within contemporary society and guides our curatorial vision for this season.”

The Festival’s stellar line-up of artists includes alt-folk sensation Reb Fountain, who will enchant audiences with her soul-stirring melodies on the opening night of the Festival, February 21, at 10pm. The Aotearoa SaVĀge K'lub will present the VĀnishing (vaa;nish;ing) Room, a multidisciplinary performance that invites manuhiri (guests) to consciously consider their relationship with the natural and spiritual worlds of Te Moana-nui-a-kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) all around them. Additionally, the Te Aro Pā Poets, a collective of three poets who descend from tūpuna of Te Aro Pā, the very whenua (land) and wai (waters) where The Performance Arcade is hosted, will impress with their poetry and presence. Stephen Bain’s Drifting Room, a theatre with legs, returns to Aotearoa from its presentation at the 2023 Prague Quadrennial.

Over 25 other incredible acts will challenge, entertain, and delight audiences and passersby. Through fog-filled containers, interactive heart making, meditation, sound sculpture, walking scores, live projections, dance interventions and a decolonial teahouse, audiences will investigate the relationships between urban space, te taiao, cultural space, bodies, and time.


  • Free


  • Wed 21 Feb — Sun 25 Feb


  • 10:00 am — 11:00 pm


  • Wellington Waterfront, behind Te Papa
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington