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Saturday, 26 May 2018 05:43 am

Weather bomb has no effect on NZ’s biggest free festival


THE WEATHER BOMB wasn’t enough to deter the crowds descending on the 18th annual Newtown Festival, New Zealand’s largest free open air fest

Police estimated 60,000 people attended a variety of stalls, live acts and activities.

Festival director Martin Handley says the fair has provisions for all weather conditions.

“We can host our performances in the pouring rain, even if we’d had Saturday’s weather. All of our performances could have happened inside.”

Mr Handley says he is happy with the size of the current festival, and that expanding any further would upset the delicate balance of Wellington city’s traffic.

Riddiford and Rintoul Sts are closed from 6am to 8pm on fairday and buses are redirected around the affected area by licenced traffic controllers.

More than 70 acts performed on eight stages, including blues legend Paul Ubana Jones,  metal act Mountaineater (pics and video below), synth-glam rockers So So Modern.

Blues act The Nudge entertained crowds on the festival’s largest stage, and one-man band Delaney Davidson (right) also gave crowds a taste of his own unique blend of blue grass on the Wilson St stage, looping his guitar and vocals to create layers of sound.

There was plenty to eat, nearly all Newtown restaurants moving out onto the street to sell curries, kebabs and candy floss as well as antiques, t-shirts and novelties, with 356 stalls in all.

The event is funded by the Wellington City Council. The organisers received $40,000 for the festival, says council spokesman Grahame Armstrong.

The event has grown from humble beginnings in Carrara Park to be the biggest free open air festival in New Zealand.

St John’s Ambulance spokeswoman Sarah Martin says three officers treated five minor injuries throughout the day.



Metal band Mountaineater perform on the Wilson Street Stage. PHOTO: Deano Shirriffs

Mountaineater's Tristan Dingemans and Anaru Ngata. Photo: Deano Shirriffs

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is A Journalism Student at Whitireia in Wellington, New Zealand. His specialty areas are digital culture, politics and cyber-crime.
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