Get ready for fab four of festival

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A rush is expected for Winter Festival’s “big four” – the Masquerade Ball, Jazz Night, Thriller in the Chiller and an all-new Comedy Gala. 

Tickets go on sale at 3pm today – and Festival boss Simon Green is urging festival-goers “not to fool about” in case they miss out on the main attractions. 

“All other tickets go on sale in May, but we’re expecting huge demand for these specific events so we’re getting tickets out now,” Green says. 

“I’m really excited about the line-up we’ve put together for each event and believe all of them will be a fantastic night out as well as fantastic value for money.” 

A major change to this year’s festival bill is the popular annual Comedy Debate has been replaced with an all-star Canadian Club Comedy Gala. 

This year it takes the form of a night of stand-up comedy featuring festival regulars Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego, Dai Henwood and Michelle A’Court and a live stage performance of Corbett’s cult TV show 7 Days. Comedians Ben Hurley, Jeremy Ellwood and Steve Wrigley are also in the line-up. 

Queenstown will be dressing up for the Lindauer Masquerade Ball. A Moulin Rouge-inspired floor show – think Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor – will be accompanied by a French-style dinner and three hours of non-stop dancing by talented all-gal Auckland trio Diva, who’ll be spelled by festival favourites The Hitmen.
You’ll have to get in quick for the ever-popular Lindauer Jazz Night up the gondola at the Skyline complex. It’s always a sellout. 

Meanwhile, Mountain Scene’s new Thriller in the Chiller is also sure to be a sellout – or maybe that should be knockout. Final match-ups between locals are being decided next week from a pool of 40 brave contenders who’ve been training hard for selection. Former Kiwi rugby league hero Tawera Nikau and TV2 Lotto presenter Russell Harrison square off in the feature bout. A charity auction the same night is raising funds for this year’s festival charity, the Wakatipu-based Bruce Grant Youth Trust.