Wellington launches new Eat, Drink, Play festival

Showbiz, burlesque, bootlegging and opera will be on the menu in Wellington next month.

The capital's launching its very first Eat, Drink, Play festival which weaves entertainment into food and drink.

More than 100 venues will create Wellington-themed meal and drink pairings, or host their own unique event.

Coene's Bar and Eatery is basing its theme on the film The Greatest Showman.

Venue manager Sarah Greenway says it's about giving the customer something different.

"They will walk in and there will be a visual display of lights, entertainers and staff in fancy dress," she says.

"Almost like a circus tent, what you'd expect when you walk into a circus".

Eli Joseph is taking part and has been itching to perform for some time.

"There are a bunch of performers who just spent the last year not knowing if we'd have a job. So we're really keen and excited to share what we can do."

The Government's $50 million COVID-19 recovery fund helped the festival get off the ground.

Hospitality NZ CEO Julie White says the idea for it came from the hospitality industry itself.

"It's bringing the locals back into the venues and giving them an opportunity to go out for a sense of occasion and celebrate with some entertainment."

The 10-day festival will run from 6-16 May.