Are you ready for a sensory smorgasbord?

The lights will be turned on in Queenstown Gardens tonight for Luma 2024, this year featuring light installations, a full laser show with live performances, and a host of sound artists popping up all over the show.

Luma Charitable Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth says this year’s extravaganza is themed ‘Arborea’, loosely translated as ‘a life in the trees’, and at the centre is the Rose Garden.

Continuing the theme of ‘‘if it works, change it’’, Forsyth says the team’s shuffled a few bits around this year, including splitting up ‘Cirque’, which was at the rotunda last year, between the ‘Garden of Arborea’, at the Rose Garden and the ‘Pixie Disco’, set up on the croquet lawn.

The headlands this year is home to ‘Mono No Aware’ , while the ‘Luma Lounge’ is based in the forest.

‘‘This also means you’ll walk into a full immersive space, and as you move through you’ll see more performances, hospitality offerings and world-class production.’’

There will be rolling live performances, including DJs and sound artists, across the various areas, along with Silk and Circus aerialists at Pixie Disco, and roaming entertainment to boot.

Launched in 2016, Luma pulls in about 40,000 people each year, continuing to attract nationally and internationally-renowned artists, across all forms.

Creatively inspired: One of Angus Muir Design’s installations at Luma this year / PICTURE: LEIGH JEFFERY

Included in this year’s lineup, for the fourth time, is Wellington-based keyboardist and producer Ed Zucollo.

The keys player for the likes of Trinity Roots, KITA and Tyson Smith, is also a session recording and performing artist for The Black Seeds, L.A.B and Hollie Smith.

Later this year he’s releasing his debut album as an electronic music producer with New Zealand label Loop Recordings Aot(ear)oa.

Zucollo tells Mountain Scene he’s created a 20-minute piece to be played in the Rose Garden, based on a brief of ‘‘where the ethereal meets the terrestrial’’, and he’ll also be performing live over the next three nights in different spots.

While he admits he found the creative process a bit challenging this year, he’s enraptured by Luma, particularly being here as a creative.

‘‘You don’t have to hold a dance floor or anything like this; people are there to experience whatever it is and I feel like you can just go quite arty and quite abstract.

‘‘It’s just like a giant exhibition where people go to enjoy arts of all sorts.’’

It also offers the artists opportunities to meet people they may not otherwise, be inspired by them and, every now and then, collaborate outside Luma.

‘‘All the people who play and perform, we all stay in the same place … and we’re all going in every day, so it really feels like this really cool creative social environment — we come from different parts of the country and we get to all go there and make art.

‘‘To be doing the live perform ances, seeing what people have produced, seeing how they perform live, it’s just real cool.’’

Forsyth says ticket sales for Luma, which runs from tonight till Monday, 5pm-10pm each night, are ‘‘ramping’’ now.

‘‘Saturday [is] on its way to sell out before the night again, with [tomorrow] hot on its heels.’’

For more information on artists and programme details, or to purchase tickets, visit

Lumify returns

Queenstown’s Sherwood is once again creating Lumify, in collaboration with the Luma team and Angus Muir Design (AMD).

The ‘Gather and Gold Tipi’, erected specifically for Lumify, has been given the AMD treatment, along with large-scale lighting installations throughout the venue.

They’ll be in place from tomorrow till Sunday, with two nights of free live music also on the way.

Tempo Schmempo and supporting DJs will get the weekend kicked into high gear at 5.30pm tomorrow, while Queenstown favourites Sweet Mix Kids, along with Julian Temple, JBOO and Sammy G will keep the party going on Sunday from 5.30pm.

The Lumify events, which will also include marshmallow toasting, are free to attend and suitable for all ages — Sherwood’s restaurant is also
open for bookings before or during the events.

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