Home » Bread, Circus and a 1000m blow-up tent: World Buskers Festival returns

Bread, Circus and a 1000m blow-up tent: World Buskers Festival returns

Arborialis Luminiarium: A 1000m2 inflatable maze will be the focal point of the World Buskers Festival 2024. Photo / Jane Barlow, Architects of Air

Roll up, roll up to Ōtautahi as Christchurch announces a bumper lineup and a giant, inflatable cathedral for the World Buskers Festival 2024.

The city’s annual celebration of street performers will return for a 31st time, between 19 and 28 January.

The theme for the 2024 festival is ‘Bread and Circus’ and the city has blown out the big top with new venues across Christchurch – including a 1000m2 inflatable artwork, which will be a focal point for the festival.

Taking pride of place in Cathedral Square the Arborialis Luminiarium will be full of tunnels and inflatable rooms to explore. Described by creators Architects of Air as “somewhere between a cathedral and a womb”, it will provide plenty of space for performances.

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“The Buskers Festival has always been about combining fun and fan-favourites with escape and surprise. We can’t wait to open the doors to our exciting new headline event for 2024,” says festival director Scott Maidment.

Other venues in the city-wide 10-day lineup include brand-new events space The Church on Worcester Street and the Buskers’ Comedy Club.

Mullet Man and MIM return to Christchurch for the 31st World Buskers Festival in January. Photo / ChristchurchNZ

International acts announced for World Buskers Festival 2024

With over 20 acts including Mullet Man & Mim, The Circus Firemen and the festival mascot Space-Man, the event spaces are going to be packed with Kiwi acts.

However a World Buskers Festival wouldn’t stack up to much without international acts. Joining Australian and New Zealand Acts are Argentine physical comedians Estupido Compania, stage magic from Korea’s Jisu Park and the Chicago-born Leah Orleans, who brings her contortionist act ‘Tiny Girl Big Show’ to Christchurch for the first time.

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The Luminarium will also be hosting a number of walk in events throughout the festival including Happy Yoga and Silent Disco Walking tours – a favourite from the 2023 festival, memorable for both participants and onlookers.

Silent Disco tours of Christchurch: Back by popular demand. Photo / ChristchurchNZ
Silent Disco tours of Christchurch: Back by popular demand. Photo / ChristchurchNZ

Karena Finnie, head of events for the city’s economic development agency ChristchurchNZ, called the festival the embodiment of the “city’s spirit” with a proud 30-year history.

“ChristchurchNZ is incredibly excited to announce the return of the World Buskers Festival in January. As a city that makes time and space for play and embraces balance in everything we do,” said Finnie.

Auckland comic Jarred Fell will also be making a one-off performance of his new show BELIEF and was due to appear in preview in Ōtautahi this morning.

Sadly it was all bread but no circus in Christchurch this morning after Fell was forced to cancel, after being stranded on a P&O Cruise. However the event organisers say the festival Space-Man will still be on the streets today, handing out free tickets to next year’s events.