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New Zealand Festival 2014

at Wellington CBD, Wellington
From 21 Feb 2014 to 6 Mar 2014

Reviewed by Simon Wilson, 24 Feb 2014
originally published in MetroMag online

Wellington sure knows how to put on an arts festival. Streets thronged with people, banners and posters, a bright, engaging eagerness everywhere you look, and yes, a wind so blustery it blows your face out of shape. 

The trick of a good opening weekend is to stage a big public event that attracts thousands and makes everyone in the city feel like it's their festival – and at the same time, with the other shows, you have to showcase the range and standard of work to come. With this festival barely 24 hours old as I write, I'm happy to say that if you weren't quite sure about it, be sure. Book those tickets. 

They got the mass event right, with hundreds of drummers and singers in the perfect amphitheatre of Civic Square. And they got the variety. I started with a “subtle mob”: I signed up to take part in an event called Our Broken Voice whose nature I knew nothing about, was sent an MP3 file to load onto my phone and told where to be at the appointed 6pm. At that time I had to hit play. I was also told to try to remain invisible. [More]
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