News | 24 November 2021
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Christmas set to shine with the Summer Sampler

Summer is coming, and while COVID has put a bit of a damper on usual festivities, there’ll still be events, activities and performers happening with the Summer Sampler coming to the waterfront.

Landscape image of Sugarfoot Stomp performers for Summer Sampler

The Wellington Summer Sampler will be two months of roving performance, pop-ups, activations, and publicly accessible spectacles happening within the COVID safety guidelines every weekend along the waterfront.

The free and family-friendly line-up will include everything from opera, to fire and circus performances, to contemporary dance, markets, kai, and even a smattering of Shakespeare.

Landscape image of fire performer for Summer Sampler

While there will be other events and activities in the city during the festive season, the Wellington Summer Sampler will be situated solely on the waterfront, says Waterfront Place Manager Helen Kirlew Smith.

“What better stage to set a series of small events with exciting, talented performers than the capital’s waterfront – the ultimate backdrop for any show.

“As if you didn’t need any more reasons to come to the waterfront this summer, Odlins Plaza will be filled with extra gems to visit including al fresco dining, the annual pop-up village with markets and great Christmas gift ideas, and this year there’ll be a pump track for the kids to enjoy.” 

Landscape image of Gaia Smith performer for Summer Sampler

Particular care has been taken with offerings that can operate under social distancing guidelines, says Eli Joseph, Spark & Flare Creative Director, who was tasked with curating the line-up. 

“Summer in Wellington is usually a very busy time for our creative community. Between festivals, parades and other celebrations, it’s when Wellington is at its most dynamic. 

“The fun challenge is finding ways to utilise the waterfront as a space for performance and letting artists share their work, while keeping everyone safe in a way that doesn't feel like the audience is being held at arm’s length. 

“As a result we’ve found some fantastic, creative solutions.”

The Summer Sampler runs from December 04 to January 30. Information about all of the free events and performances will be made available through Facebook, Eventfinda, and the Wellington City Council website.