Glen Pickering – Art Deco Festival Director

The Tremains Art Deco Festival is a firm fixture on Napier’s calendar and each year, more than 40,000 people decked out in Art Deco gear descend on the city to enjoy the more than 250 events on offer.


As Director, Glen Pickering is charged with bringing the Festival to life. 2018 will mark Glen’s second Festival at the helm, and he has introduced many new and exciting elements to the five-day event.


“2018 will be the 30th anniversary of the Festival, so it’s a very special year indeed,” says Glen. “We will mark that milestone with celebrations and we have also introduced a hero focus for the 2018 Festival – music – a full programme of musical events that will run throughout the event, featuring international, national and local talent.”

The 30th anniversary will be marked in style at the Gatsby Picnic, with a birthday party planned complete with cake and presents. On Friday 16 February, the Sound Shell will come alive with ‘Friday Night with the Stars”. This free event will feature some of New Zealand’s best talent performing numbers from the Art Deco era, including Moses Mackay from Sol3 Mio, Debbie Harwood and actress and singer Esther Stephens, all backed by the Hawke’s Bay Jazz Club big band.

“Music brings people together and the Friday Night concert and our other musical events will appeal to young and old. Local artists will also have the opportunity to perform at many of the Festival’s events including balls and dances, and there is an entire programme of street performances – in fact, more than 200 hours of Deco-era music is scheduled over the five days!”


Another new event, and one of Glen’s favourites, is the Junior Gatsby picnic, being held during the day on Thursday 15 February. “Nimons Bus Company will be transporting kids from all over the region to a special picnic with music, prizes and celebrities. It’s a chance for younger people to enjoy what Art Deco has to offer.”

Once the Festival is over and the costumes are away, tents down and vintage cars back safely in their garages, the work begins again for Glen, planning Hawke’s Bay’s 14th Winter Deco celebration in July and the 2019 Art Deco Festival. Judging by the impressive fresh look of the 2018 Festival, there is no doubt Glen will have some new and exciting events up his sleeve. Watch this space!

The 30th Anniversary of the Art Deco Festival will be held on Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 February 2018

For more information on events etc please see

Words by Sarah Cameron –

Photos of Glen by Florence Charvin

Festival photography supplied by the Art Deco Trust