Tickets on sale for 2024 World of Wearableart™ show: Dream Awake

The theme for the 2024 World of WearableArt (WOW) Show has been revealed and tickets to Aotearoa New Zealand’s creative spectacle of the year are now on sale.

The 2024 WOW Show: DREAM AWAKE will bring the magic and vibrancy of WOW back to the heart of Wellington from 26 September to 13 October, delivering a mesmerising journey into a world between worlds at the TSB Arena.

Executive Creative Director Brian Burke* says this year’s show will engage audiences like never before, encountering six awe-inspiring dreamscapes directly influenced by the competition design themes. The audience will become time travellers and experience visually stunning worlds spun by a mysterious and magical visionary.

“The 2024 WOW Show: DREAM AWAKE will transport audiences to surprising and unexpected places. As always, the creative team will be pushing the boundaries to captivate everyone who takes the journey with us this year. We have jaw-dropping performances, unique aerial artistry, extravagant costumes, state-of-the art 3D projection and lighting, and of course phenomenal wearable art from around the world, all coming together in a visual spectacle you can only experience at WOW," he says.

A new stage design and storeys-high audio visual are aiming to bring the wearable art garments closer than ever.

“We know people love to see the detail of the garments, so are constantly exploring ways to bring them closer. This year we’re building a completely new stage, using more of the arena, and integrating live cameras for giant projections to celebrate the artistic intricacies of the designs at the heart of the show,” Burke says. The 2023 WOW Show saw finalists from across the globe showcase their artistry and innovation to about 60,000 audience members.

WOW Chief Executive Meg Williams says near perfect satisfaction ratings and a surge in new ticket buyers last year shows people are loving the creative developments WOW has been making since bringing on Las Vegas-based Burke, an International Emmy-nominated television producer who continues to redefine entertainment with 20 years of acclaimed "Best of Las Vegas" productions and record-breaking worldwide spectacles, including the 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

"Brian has always said that WOW is globally unique and special in its own right – and that’s something to treasure and nurture.

What he has connected WOW into is some of the world’s leading theatre technology and stagecraft, to continue to evolve and lift the experience, and audiences are loving it,” Williams says.

“He is inspired by the breadth of extraordinary garment designs from Aotearoa and beyond that we receive each year and loves bringing forward the talents of New Zealand performing artists on the WOW stage to create an experience like no other.”

Over $185,000 of awards and prizes are up for grabs this year, across six section categories. This includes three recurring sections – Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open – and three unique categories this year: Crazy Curiosities of the Creature Carnival, Natural World and Geometric Abstraction.

WOW’s Head of Competition Sarah Nathan says this year has attracted a phenomenal quality of international entries, with Aotearoa-based designers having until the start of May to enter their garments.

“We already have quite the competition on our hands, and there’s a lot more to come in. The introduction of a new Transformation Innovation Award has been an exciting development, with designers really rising to the challenge to create garments that completely transform onstage,” Nathan says.

As well as the return of last year’s popular 30 Under 30 and NZSL-interpreted Awards Night initiatives, this year sees the introduction of a new Gold ticketing category. Sitting between Platinum and A Reserve, Gold tickets include excellent seats and a WOW Show Programme. The premium Stageside Plus and VIP Table Plus experiences also return; the exclusive backstage tour is limited to just 40 people per night.

WOW promises a dreamy escape, Williams says. “Every year, our creative team and designers amaze us with their extraordinary creativity and ingenuity. The 2024 WOW Show: DREAM AWAKE is going to be the most intriguing and uplifting experience. We can’t wait for everyone to join us for the spectacle of the year.”

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Published: April 2024