Events Capital Welcomes WOW

24 September 2014

Wellington is getting fired up for the World of WearableArts Award Show this week by painting the town red.

Open section entry 2011 WOW Awards Show.

Open section entry 2011 WOW Awards Show


Expect to see scarlet wherever you turn – shop windows, key landmarks – and look out too for outdoor lunchtime appearances from the Shaolin Monks, who will also be performing as part of the awards show.

More than 35,000 visitors are expected in Wellington over the next three weeks for the annual show, which is returning to the capital for its 26th non-stop spectacular. Art, design and theatre collide in the two-hour extravaganza, which features more than 150 extraordinary garments.

The WOW awards show moved to Wellington from Nelson in 2005, largely to accommodate a continually increasing number of show-goers. The 2014 season has been extended to a third weekend, providing an even bigger boost for the local economy. 

In 2012, Wellington City Council signed a nine-year partnership deal with WOW, which Councillor Jo Coughlan, chair of Council’s Economic Growth and Arts Committee, says is already proving to be a sound investment.

“More than 47,000 people came to a WOW show in 2013, with 71.6% of those people coming from outside of Wellington – providing a direct economic benefit of $22.6 million to Wellington. With a third weekend this year, we are anticipating an even greater impact for our retail, hospitality and accommodation sectors,” says Councillor Coughlan.

“On top of the spend by visitors in our shops, hotels, bars and restaurants, WOW benefits Wellington by employing more than 500 people in the city each year, and showcasing us to the world as a creative, innovative place to live, work, visit and do business.”

The WOW season opens on Thursday 25 September, and the winners will be announced at the Awards Night on Friday 26 September. Tickets are selling fast from World of WearableArt.