The Dunedin Arts Festival has a proud tradition of bringing the best and most innovative theatre, music, dance, cabaret, and writers to Dunedin for the past 23 years, and the next iteration looks to be the best yet. The Festival is a diverse, inspiring, and challenging biennial festival of arts and ideas set in the beautiful city of Ōtepoti Dunedin, with shows in Invercargill and Oamaru. We are recognised as one of the leading regional arts festivals in New Zealand and bring big national and international shows to a deeply appreciative audience in theregion.

Your Festival

Our goal is to provide our community and our visitors the opportunity to experience the excellent, diverse, and extraordinary by presenting the biennial Dunedin Arts Festival in Autumn 2025, containing ticketed shows, free events, workshops, exhibitions, and a robust schools programme.

The Festival is not only for the Southern community but is also responsible for visitors into the region staying in local accommodation, dining at local establishments, and bringing income into the city.

The Festival Team

Charlie Unwin | Festival Director 


Christine McNamara | Chair
Jemma Adams
Lynley Bunton
Tony Clear
Shelley Griffiths
Michael Guthrie
Lauren Hall

Vision, Purpose and Values


·       To provide a diverse programme of accessible activities and events that will cater for locals and visitors.
·       To provide events that will inspire, entertain, and challenge all sectors of our community.
·       To provide free and low-ticket price events that will appeal to all ages and all sectors of the community.
·       To provide opportunities for artists, performers, and the local arts industry and to increase profile and gain financial benefits. 
·       To present audiences with a programme of high-quality arts events that includes the best of National and International music, theatre, and dance.
·       To promote Dunedin as an exciting, colourful, and vibrant cultural destination and reinforce Dunedin’s profile as a centre of performing and visual arts. 
·       To increase visitor numbers at an off-peak time of year and encourage a longer stay.
·       To increase awareness of community and artistic facilities, such as galleries, theatres, artists’ workshops, and public spaces.
·       To develop links between arts and industry.
·       To provide community celebrations and a sense of pride in the place we live.


On a biennial basis, the festival brings excellent, diverse, and engaging arts experiences to the Ōtepoti Dunedin community, entertaining and challenging our audiences while celebrating our heritage and environment.

The Festival's Values


This involves connecting our community through the process of participation in the events, through volunteering for the Festival and by programming street and community events. Our programming should not only entertain but should nourish people’s hearts and minds.

Relationships and Inclusion

The arts reflect society back upon itself, and the Festival needs to reflect all of Ōtepoti Dunedin. Everybody needs to see that the Festival is for them and we want the region to take ownership of the event. It’s their Festival. We need to ensure we are consistently and constantly building our younger audiences with a focus on relevant events and a robust schools programme.


We need to ensure we maintain a diverse funding base – across box-office, sponsorship, funding, and benefactors, and we are working  to minimise our carbon footprint and waste output.