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Nelson’s Fringe Festival takes flight

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It’s a regular Wednesday afternoon for Dan Allan as he steps inside the kea enclosure at Natureland to film a promo video for the upcoming Bay Landscapes Nelson Fringe Festival. Allan has done much stranger things in the name of his profession. 

Allan is a professional actor and has been living and working in Nelson since 2010. He is also the Chair of the Nelson Fringe Arts Charitable Trust (NFACT) and the co-founder of the Festival. So, what exactly is he doing getting up close and personal with kea? The kea is the main image of this year’s Festival. Chosen for their cheeky and playful natures (much like the nature of Fringe), it would be rude not to ask them, respectfully, to launch the whole event. 

With programme in hand, Allan enters the enclosure. Check out the Nelson Fringe Facebook page to see how this story goes! The rest of the story is yours to explore too. The Festival is headed by Director, Laura Irish, and fuelled by passionate individuals who have scrimped and saved over two years to ensure it could burst onto the scene this year. 

With huge support from locals for the fundraising quiz night, local businesses adopting shows, giving discounts and donating product, Allan’s inlaws (Bay Landscape and Garden Centre) stepping in as naming rights sponsors, funding bodies such as the Nelson City Council’s Nelson Regional Development Agency and the Rata Foundation coming to the party and a huge effort from the Trust, the Fringe is an example of what happens when a community steps up and says ‘we want this to happen.’ Even a postponement due to Covid-19 couldn’t stop this particular bird from taking to the skies.

So, from August 14 - 22 at the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts (NCMA), Nelsonians and visitors to our fine city will be treated to an absolutely delightful, edgy and heart-ful Festival of comedy, drama, improvisation, circus and more. With one week, one venue and 31 Fringe-y shows, the Bay Landscapes Nelson Fringe is one sure-fire way to warm up your winter. 

Tickets are on sale now from The Fringe has an ethos of inclusivity and accessibility and, as such, has Earlybird tickets on sale until July 26 for just $10 + fees. Want to adopt a show or get involved in some way? Contact Get stuck into this incredible week-long and suitably cheeky programme of shows and workshops, right here, in the heart of Nelson. View the full programme at

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