2020 Festival Updates FAQ's - August

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and government's Level response, we've made some changes to the way we run Visa Wellington On a Plate for 2020 so you can experience all the fun of the Festival in the safest possible way. 

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand how the Festival will work in 2020.

What are you changing?

Originally scheduled for the month of August, Visa Wellington On a Plate 2020 will now run for the whole month of October, from Thursday 01 to Saturday 31.

The first eleven days (1st to 11th) of the Festival will be dedicated to Dine Wellington.

The last twenty days (12th to 31st) will be dedicated to Garage Project presents Burger Wellington. 

Cocktail Wellington and Festival events will run for the full month.

Why October?

Planning New Zealand's largest culinary festival takes a long time. As Covid-19 spread in New Zealand and Level 4 lockdown came into effect, planning for Visa Wellington On a Plate was effectively put on hold due to the huge uncertainty around how the virus curve would play out. There was a high possibility that we may not have been able to run Visa Welly On a Plate at all. 

As we moved down alert levels, thanks to the work our team of five million put in to staying home, it became clear that this well loved culinary festival could most likely go ahead this year. So that's what we're aiming for.

October was chosen to: 

  1. Give us the best shot at running the Festival this year when we're anticipating more freedom of movement and less restrictions on things like mass gatherings
  2. Give the Festival organising team and the Wellington hospitality community the time to get ready for a month long food celebration that will be as excellent as we all want it to be!

October is spring after all. It'll be great, don't worry. 

October DOES sound great! What other parts of Visa Welly On a Plate are changing?

Following consultation with restaurant partners and listening to their concerns, we've decided not to have public ratings or Festival Awards for Burger, Cocktail, Dine Wellington for 2020. This year we're all about collaboration, community and lifting everyone up rather than competition. 

You will still be able to favourite, create lists and share with friends.

Will it be safe to dine in?

Yes! Wellington hospo takes the issue of health and safety very seriously. Every venue who participates will be required to abide by current public health and safety measures as determined by the government, which may include physical distancing, restrictions on numbers and contact tracing. Additionally, food and beverage venues already have stringent health and safety practices in place so we're confident you'll be well looked after. 

What about the International Chef Collaboration Series?

Borders are closed for the foreseeable future so unfortunately the International Chef Collaboration Series is off the table this year.

Will you be printing a programme guide?

We won't be printing a programme guide this year. This will allow us to be more flexible and produce a Festival programme in a shorter timeframe. The full programme will, of course, be available on VisaWOAP.com.

When will the programme be announced?

Monday August 24th at VisaWOAP.com

When can I book tickets?

  • The Festival Programme goes live Monday 24 August 
  • Visa Pre-sale starts midday Monday 31 August and finishes midnight 2 September. You must use a Visa debit or credit card to purchase tickets during the Presale (you can also use Visa Prezzy Cards during the Presale period) 
  • All tickets on sale from Monday 7 September.

Can the Festival happen under Level 2?

Visa Welly On a Plate can run under Level 2, Level 1 and no levels! The Festival happens all around the Greater Wellington region in many of our restaurants/bars/eateries/hospitality venues. They’re all experts at operating under different Level restrictions, with contact tracing and physical distancing procedures and protocols in place for your safety and comfort.

We are optimistic that this current lockdown will end soon, so in the meantime keep washing your hands!

What about mass gatherings?

The majority of events in the programme this year are under 100 people. If we are still in Level 2 in October when the Festival starts, all Festival Events will be required to comply with appropriate mass gathering restrictions at that time. 

Can I get a refund on my event tickets?

You can book your tickets with the confidence; you will be refunded if events are cancelled due to either:

  • A cancellation by the event organiser 
  • If we are to go back into any official lockdown levels beyond Level 2 which restricts travel in and out of regions that may affect you personally.

Please be mindful however that Festival Event tickets cannot be refunded due to a change in mind.

What if I can’t travel due to Covid-19?

If you are unable to travel to Wellington for Visa Welly On a Plate due to any official regional or national lockdown, any event tickets you have purchased will be refunded in accordance with our ticket refund policy. We will require proof of travel cancellation to process ticket refunds (e.g. Air New Zealand ticket credit).


Hey. If you've read this far, thanks for understanding. We know Visa Wellington On a Plate is a festival close to Wellingtonian's hearts and we know it's going to be a little different this year. But it's still going to be the big old fun food festival that you know and love. Don't you worry about that!