Press Release – REAL New Zealand Festival
Thousands of New Zealanders and international visitors took part in REAL New Zealand Festival events and experiences and took up the challenge to “follow the Rugby the long way around”.REAL New Zealand Festival Brings Tournament Alive Nationwide
Thousands of New Zealanders and international visitors took part in REAL New Zealand Festival events and experiences and took up the challenge to “follow the Rugby the long way around”.
REAL New Zealand Festival Director Briony Ellis says the Festival has been a huge success and she is delighted with feedback, saying it has helped deliver the promised stadium of four million and brought Rugby World Cup 2011 alive in big cities and small towns.
“The Festival stretched the length and breadth of the country with more than 1200 events and experiences – arts, music, food and wine, heritage, culture, business and sport. Visitors and locals enjoyed the regional diversity and manaakitanga displayed during the Tournament.
“This has been an amazing moment in our history and we’re thrilled that the Festival has been a part of it. We wanted people to get out and discover the real New Zealand and we believe we have achieved that.”
The REAL New Zealand Festival was a core activity developed by the New Zealand 2011 Office to support the Tournament and showcased the diversity of New Zealand and New Zealanders, “celebrating the aspects of living in New Zealand of which Kiwis are most proud.
It was the first time New Zealand has held a nationwide festival and the first time a nationwide festival has been staged alongside the Rugby World Cup Tournament.
Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden has praised the Festival for its role in bringing the Tournament alive.
“Every community throughout New Zealand that’s been responsible for for hosting a slice of the Tournament has done so selflessly and with great passion. The REAL New Zealand Festival and the showcasing initiatives led by the NZ 2011 Office have added so much to the flavor of RWC 2011. It’s meant all Kiwis, rugby fans and those with just a passing interest in the game could join this celebration of New Zealand and play their part in making it such a huge success.”
Some highlights from the REAL New Zealand Festival:
* More than 1 million visitors to Queens Wharf
* Auckland Fan Trail to Eden Park which was walked by 121,141 people (more than triple the 33,000 originally projected)
* 99 bands played on Queens Wharf with all Live at The Cloud music concerts at capacity. An additional 40 concerts around the country featured New Zealand musicians
* 95,709 people attended 490 shows at the Giant Rugby Ball. Hours were extended as much as possible to cater for the huge demand
* More than 85,000 people through NZ On Screen at Queens Wharf, and on Wellington Waterfront
* More than 200,000 people experienced Waka Maori
* Rugby RUCKus in Tolaga Bay attracted more than 1500 people * More than 70,000 people brought along picnics and enjoyed the Kiwi Day Out at Auckland Doman on Labour Day
* Whitianga Scallop Festival was sold out with 4500 buying tickets and making the trip to the Coromandel town
* Whanganui Festival of Glass attracted 4000 people across 10 days – 40 per cent were from out of town
* More than 11,000 visitors to The Story of Ka Mate, The World’s Best Known Haka in Wellington
* The Port Chalmers Seafood Festival had 6500 people attend – 30 per cent more than expected attendance
* Classic All Blacks vs French Classics in Queenstown drew a capacity crowd of 7000 8000 people experienced a Taste of Southland during the 10-day event