30 Oct 2012
Wellington is set for a blockbuster November, with the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and a string of creative conferences and events expected to draw thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to the capital.
The world premiere will be the headline act of a month showcasing all things creative, screen and digital, with AnimfxNZ, Semi-Permanent and the Screen Production and Development Association conference all also taking place this November.
Wellington City Council’s Economic Portfolio leader Jo Coughlan says November will be a massive month for the creative capital in terms of both economic impact and international profile.
“As well as delivering immediate gain through millions of dollars in visitor spend, there is also huge long term opportunity through the professional connections and worldwide profile. November will be the ultimate showcase of the creative capital.”
Positively Wellington Venues (PWV) will kick off November’s events calendar with a sell-out start. Just a few good seats remain for Ben Harper on Friday November 3 at Michael Fowler Centre, while Thursday 2nd is at capacity. Mumford & Sons at the Town Hall (Nov 4 and 5) and The Black Keys at TSB Bank Arena on November 5 are both sold out.
New Zealand’s premier digital entertainment event, AnimfxNZ will be hosted at Te Papa on November 15, with the annual three-day symposium bringing together professionals from animation, visual effects, games and digital film industries worldwide. Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at St James Theatre also opens that day, with PWV reporting approximately 70% of all tickets have already sold.
“This is exceptionally good for a theatre performance a month out from premiere. Once the show opens word of mouth will kick into overdrive, so people should jump in quick if they want to catch the mouse,” says PWV Chief Executive Glenys Coughlan.
A New Zealand exclusive of one of the select professional licensed productions touring the world as part of the iconic whodunit’s diamond anniversary, 38% of ticket sales to The Mousetrap to-date have been from outside the Wellington region. A sell-out could see visitors spend up to $6 million in the city during the 12 performance season, Ms Coughlan says.
Visitors flying into the capital this November will be welcomed in true Middle of Middle-earth style, with Wellington International Airport last week revealing an installation of Gollum the size of a small jet aircraft in its terminal, along with new Middle of Middle-earth signage.
The recent announcement of the city’s plans to celebrate its position as the ‘Middle of Middle-earth’ was picked up by media outlets all over the world, says Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.
"The benefits to Wellington's economy, particularly for accommodation, hospitality and retail, are considerable," says Mayor Wade-Brown, "but we also have a greater opportunity to tell the Wellington story of talent and technology to the world."
Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) Chief Executive David Perks says hoteliers are looking forward to another busy month off the back of a highly successful season of the Brancott Estate WOW® Awards Show.
“Naturally accommodation is expected to be at a premium on the night of the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but the month as a whole is looking very strong. November is traditionally a good month for the city’s hotel sector, but given the challenging economic climate it’s great to see things remain buoyant in the conferences and events sector.”
Nine cruise ships are also due to port in November, with a cumulative capacity of almost 20,000 passengers.
“Based on cruise visitors’ average daily spend, those vessels have the capacity to bring in passenger spending of close to $2.8 million into the city,” Mr Perks says.
November Cultural Capital Calendar Highlights
1 Paper Sky opens at Downstage Theatre. (Runs to 17 Nov)
2-3: Ben Harper, Michael Fowler Centre
4-5: Mumford & Sons, Wellington Town Hall
5: The Black Keys, TSB Bank Arena
7: The TelstraClear Season of Giselle opens at St James Theatre (Runs to 11 Nov)
15: AnimfxNZ, Te Papa.
15: Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap opens at St James Theatre.
16: Semi-Permanent, Embassy Theatre.
20: Screen Production and Development Association, Mac’s Function Centre
22: Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man opens at Downstage Theatre.
26: Red Carpet Tours and TheOneRing.net Premiere Costume Party, Amora Hotel
28: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey World Premiere.