Sunday, May 13, 2012
RECORD TICKET SALES FOR 2012 AUCKLAND WRITERS & READERS FESTIVAL
Sales for the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival have hit an all-time high this year, with more than 24,000 tickets sold for the just-delivered five day programme. This represents a 10% increase on 2011.
From 9-13 May, more than 120 guests have delivered 82 sessions and workshops to thousands of New Zealanders who have filled the Aotea Centre and surrounding venues to hear and meet writers from across the world.
“We’re delighted to have exceeded all our artistic, financial and audience targets and delivered a world class literature festival into the centre of Auckland,” said Chair Sarah Sandley.
“This event continues to grow in both stature and popular appeal and has truly become one of Auckland and New Zealand’s premiere cultural events, going from strength to strength and providing strong evidence of a thirst to engage with literature and ideas beyond the sound bite,” she said.
Over the last five days the Festival has presented 22 international writers and more than 100 New Zealanders in diverse sessions including readings, conversations, debates, lectures, live drawing, music and film, poetry performance and play reading.
“There’s been laughter and tears, high energy and quiet thoughtfulness, delight, wonder and provocation,” said Artistic Director Anne O’Brien. “We couldn’t have asked for better writers or audiences and we leave the venues with a great sense of achievement.”
Sessions with particularly high attendance included Dame Stella Rimington, who spoke in front of an audience of 1000 on Saturday afternoon, Irish writer Roddy Doyle, cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides, New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby, and national icon Maurice Gee.
The Festival’s bookshop, managed by a partnership of Unity Books and The Women’s Bookstore, is also anticipating a record year for sales with a number of titles selling out.
The Auckland Writers & Readers Festival is a major undertaking delivered by a small core staff and an army of volunteers. It takes place in May each year with planning for the 2013 event, confirmed for 15-19 May, already underway.