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Wellington to host global music conference

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Wellington to host global music conference
Wellington’s new convention centre, Tākina, has notched up another win for 2025.

The World Conference of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) will be held in New Zealand’s capital in January 2025, with 800 delegates expected to attend.

This is the first time New Zealand will host the conference.

The program will include a focus on indigenous music and dance, which speaks to New Zealand’s Māori culture, and delegates are expected to attend concerts in Wellington as part of their visit.

The bid to host was led by ethnomusicology lecturer Brian Diettrich at the New Zealand School of Music, which is part of Victoria University of Wellington. Both Business Events Wellington and Tourism New Zealand supported the bid.

“Partnering with Victoria University is crucial to our strategy in attracting conferences, especially conferences that align with the city’s reputation and strength as New Zealand’s vibrant cultural capital,” said Business Events Wellington manager Irette Ferreira.

Diettrich is on the board of the International Council for Traditional Music and will be the local organising chair when the conference comes to Wellington. He is also one of the first members of the Wellington Advocate Network, launched by Business Events Wellington a year ago.

“ICTM 2025 will be a fabulous cultural event for the city and a historical undertaking for New Zealand,” said Diettrich.

“ICTM 2025 also demonstrates the global value of music research and scholarship, including to the local economy and at a time when New Zealand universities have proposed reductions in music. By contrast, scholars of music and dance across the world will be congregating together in Wellington, speaking and singing the value of music globally.” 

The conference’s timing is ideal for Wellington, with January being the only month with no parliamentary sittings in the capital.

“This conference, taking place in January 2025, is also a great example of business events boosting the city’s hospitality sector during what would traditionally be its off-peak season,” said Ferreira.

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