Also written by Cheree Ridder
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Wellington’s CubaDupa returns to the streets for 2021 with its most ambitious programme ever.
WELLINGTON, NZ — Wellington’s Cuba Street Precinct is set to come alive as CubaDupa, New Zealand's most diverse and creative street festival, confirms plans for a full street festival on the weekend of March 27-28, 2021
Returning to the streets with its most ambitious programme ever; CubaDupa will offer 19+ hours of curated entertainment across 20 stages and creative zones, delivering 470 performances and 20 parades with over 1700 artists from all over Aotearoa.
A turnout of 100,000 friends, whanau and neighbours is expected, and CubaDupa wants all of NZ to reset their frequency, channel their inner CubaDupa and join the beautiful disruption in Wellington.
Festival Director Gerry Paul says “After a tough year, Cuba Dupa 2021 will be just the tonic we all need. The streets will be alive with surprises around every corner and our most ambitious, most creative and most diverse programme ever. We will be there celebrating our community, our artists and the businesses that give Cuba Street and Wellington its unique character.”
Music is the beating heart of CubaDupa, with a diverse free live music programme showcasing almost every genre and artists from all over Aotearoa. Multi-award winning musician Troy Kingi will hit the stage with a high-energy set. Richter City Rebels all-star 10-piece will bring the ultimate Mardi Gras party vibes blending RnB, soul, hip-hop, jazz and funk with the heart and soul of New Orleans brass band music.
Christchurch’s There’s a Tuesday will explode onto the scene with their exciting female-fronted 4-piece indie rock/pop band. NZ based US siblings Deva Mahal, Zoe Moon, and Imon Starr, combine their singing, playing and songwriting talents to form Blue-Reggae band Black Pacific.
Local Wellington legends Hans Pucket will perform their pure power pop hits with a full horn section, and emerging local rockers H4LF CĀST will chug through their bangers; hot on the trail to release their debut album in 2021.
Musicians, sound experiences, and immersive electronic wizardry become a cornerstone of the 2021 CubaDupa with the festival’s most ambitious project ever, Cubasonic. The mass musical interruption—conceived by New Zealand’s leading composer John Psathas—involves over 300 musicians lining the street, twelve conductors above the crowd, a custom-made overhead sound system. Psathas will be joined by ensembles including Orchestra Wellington, Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, The Nudge, Boat and nearly 100 Batucada drummers.
The RadioActive Upper Cuba SoundSphere debuts in 2021. Experience an abundance of dance music, street theatre and art activations taking place in Abel Smith and Upper Cuba Street. Join The Ping Pong Party People on their search for the King of Ping in an ultimate table tennis championship rave. Head over to Shabby Salon for a drop-dead gorgeous makeover and attend your own faux funeral. If that’s a little gloomy for you, get married at the Cuba Chapel instead.
Feast your eyes on the newly commissioned visual art installation at the Wellington Airport Swan Stage by female art cohort which consists of local artists Miriama Grace-Smith, Xoë Hall and Gina Kiel. Also new for 2021 is an all female fronted line-up on the Garage Project Wild Workshop Stage, programmed by Gussie Larkin of Mermaidens.
Returning for 2021 is the The Mammoth circus tent on Ghuznee Street where you’ll find energetic performances and workshops by day, and saucy cabaret shows by night. The Street Feast also returns to CubaDupa, with over 100 food stalls and a diverse and tantalizing range of local vendors and culinary experiences.
The 2021 festival will take place on 27 and 28 March, 2021 throughout the Cuba Street Precinct in Wellington. For full details visit www.cubadupa.co.nz.
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CubaDupa 2021 Teaser Video https://youtu.be/8TXHTPdnvOk