About Luminate

Tena koe. Nga mihi atu ki a koutou.
Nau mai, haere mai, karanga mai!
Welcome to Luminate!


Luminate’s purpose is to co-create a thriving festival of music, arts and inspiration, activating positive change beneficial to the ecology.


Luminate’s Vision is heart-centered community flourishing in resonance with nature.


Luminate has a well-defined culture which has evolved in depth and refined in clarity over the years, and has always remained true to the fundamental principles that we began with back in 2008.

Luminate is held at the time of Lughnasadgh (Lunasa) in the southern hemisphere, midway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.

Traditionally Lunasa is a fire festival, often held on top of a mountain, and is a potent time for people to come together from far and wide to celebrate life and connect as community. It is a time to celebrate the abundant gifts of nature, give gratitude to our earth mother, empower the divine goddess energy, bring balance between yin & yang within us all, share skills, knowledge, inspiration, healing, food, music & creativity. The intentions of Lunasa feel as relevant to us today as they were for our ancestors thousands of years ago.

Over the years, since beginning in 2008, Luminate has developed a unique culture and growing international reputation, especially within the transformational festival community worldwide.

Recently Luminate was nominated as one of the top five finalists for “Outstanding Green Event” in the 2018 FestX Awards; a significant achievement considering the huge number of events globally, and a wonderful acknowledgement of the innovative ecological strategies that are fundamental to Luminate.

Luminate’s culture encompasses our values, how we do things, what’s most important to us, what we feel most aligned with, and the guiding principles that help Luminate achieve its purpose and vision.

Our culture includes earth-friendly consciousness, innovation, participation, co-creation, self-responsibility, respect, compassionate communication, integrity, unity in diversity, knowledge sharing, music, arts & creativity, sacred geometry, holistic health, celebration and aroha.

Luminate encourages people to engage with self-responsibility, recognising that the choices we make are critical in manifesting the “reality” that we all share.

If we wish to see an ecology in balance, thriving and healthy, then we must make decisions and take actions to support this.


Learning skills of self-reliance, growing food, alternative health techniques, natural & traditional building methods, composting, minimising waste & maximising use of resources, practicing compassionate communication, taking time for personal development, and utilising the therapeutic benefits of music and creative arts, are all opportunities available at Luminate, and valuable assets which individuals can share to help co-create resilient communities.


We welcome you to join us with your participation in co-creating this festival gathering and celebration. We invite you to align with Luminate’s purpose, vision and culture. We hope you enjoy the abudance of nature at Pikikirunga, the wealth of activities at the festival, and we trust that Luminate will be a long lasting and uplifting experience.


We welcome you to immerse yourself in Luminate, be present in joyful heart-space, and to activate positive change.


Canaan Downs is one of New Zealand’s most iconic, natural outdoor venues, and has a rich history of music events from the late 1990s to present times. The land also featured as one of The Hobbit film locations, with several sites featuring in the trilogy.


Canaan Downs covers 200 acres, with approximately half in native beech forest and half in open grassland. The geomorphology includes karst (limestone) features, deep caves and marble/quartz outcrops. The land contains some of the oldest rock formations in New Zealand, and sits at around 750m elevation in the Pikikirunga mountain range.


The Canaan Downs Collective formed in 2011, and raised sufficient funds to purchase the land, becoming responsible kaitiaki-guardians of this beautiful space. This project is an example of cooperative land ownership, sustainable land management, community participation and innovative environmental initiatives.


The aims and objectives of the Canaan Downs Collective include:

  1. Manage the land in an environmentally and financially sustainable manner.
  2. Assist regeneration of the existing Beech forest, re-establish native trees, protect and enhance the biodiversity of the native flora and fauna, and provide a sanctuary for at-risk endemic species.
  3. Ensure that Canaan Downs remains available and accessible to our communities for future generations for visitor access, events and activities in keeping with the nature of the environment and the values of Canaan Downs Collective.
  4. Develop organic food producing initiatives, such as establishing fruit and nut trees and food gardens.
  5. Encourage and support the continuation and sustainability of events on the land which attract significant visitors to the region and have benefits to the wider community.


Currently there are close to 40 members of the Collective, comprising of people from the local Nelson-Tasman region and throughout New Zealand, and Luminate Festival Trust is also a key member.


We welcome more people to join us. There are opportunities for people who are aligned with the aims, objectives and strategies to support the project, become involved in the land and become a member of the Canaan Downs Collective.

If you would like to know more, details will be available to read at the Info Hub.

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