Free & Live

We believe the magic of the arts should be accessible to everybody. That’s why we present more free and live events than any other regional arts festival in New Zealand.

The Hamilton Arts Festival is a uniquely community-driven arts festival. Every year our festival relies on the generosity and time of local businesses, sponsors, venues and volunteers to go ahead.

Here are some fun facts about what makes us tick:

Our commitment to making ticketed shows affordable to as many people as possible means that for every $1 you spend on a ticket, we subsidise a further $2. Thanks to our amazing sponsors, the cost to the public for each ticketed show is subsidised by 70%.

1400 volunteer hours were involved in delivering our 2021 festival. We couldn’t be more grateful for the hard work volunteers put in every year to make our festival what it is!

Faced with a myriad of challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to help the festival go ahead in 2022. With the generous support of our community, we managed to raise $25,000 (115% of our original funding target!).

In 2021 over 45,000 people attended a free & live event at our festival.

Check out our always-evolving programme of free and live events at the Hamilton Gardens and around the CBD!