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Fashion and Lifestyle

'Chocks away!' Fringe 09 takes flight

The engines are fired up and the Fringe Festival juggernaut is rumbling down the runway, set to unleash the largest creative arts festival in Aotearoa.

The New Zealand Fringe Festival launched its 2009 programme today, featuring its biggest line-up in years with 108 confirmed participants spanning theatre, comedy, music, dance, outdoor extravaganzas and visual arts.

The programme was launched at a function held at Bar 22 in central Wellington, attended by local and central government representatives, doyens of the arts and culture community and hundreds of brightly-attired Fringe 09 participants.

The programme launch was unique for Fringe as for the first time in its 16-festival history, the Fringe has committed to using new media technology to present its programme and will not be publishing a printed programme.

Fringe 09 director Mark Westerby said the move was made to offer the public a more interactive and personalised programme and to ensure the viability of Fringe for future years in the face of tightening funding.

“The Fringe has always been about innovation and this initiative offers so much more than a bulky printed-programme can,” said Mr Westerby.

“Through our website http://www.fringe.co.nz and our FringeTxt service (text FRINGE to 2343) we can offer the public up-to-the-minute information, videos and music to accompany listings form our participants.

“And what’s been great for us is how our participants have embraced this idea and the opportunities it provides to offer more bang for less buck.”

A new highlight for Fringe 09 is the Open Studios concept. The Open Studios concept is a series of self-guided tours around Wellington presenting a unique chance to meet artists, to discover how and where they create, and to browse, buy, poke and soak in the world of creation. Fringe Open Studios takes place February 14-15 in Wellington City.

The New Zealand Fringe Festival 2009 commences on February 6 2009 and concludes March 1. Visit http://www.fringe.co.nz for more information and further announcements about the Fringe 09 line up.

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