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Monday, 25 March 2019 07:47 pm

Mayor gets all dressed up for the CubaDupa 2018 party

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester practices his smize while Dani Pike, Head of Te Auaha’s Special Effects and Make-up Artistry school, adjusts his wig ahead of his appearance at CubaDupa this weekend.

Cuba Dupa is on this weekend, and the organisers are promising an even
bigger and better festival than last year.

Artistic Director of CubaDupa, Drew James describes the event as ‘an arts
festival on the street’.

“It’s the best weekend of the year.

CubaDupa is designed specifically for Cuba St. It’s owned by Cuba St.
It’s Wellington at her best on display.”

Mr James and his team have been hard at work planning the event since the
week after last years CubaDupa was held.

“It’s a big job finding acts, making sure concepts fit, sorting travel and

There are 131 acts lined up for this weekend, covering music, dance, street theatre, circus, choirs, acapella and brass bands to name just a few with a mix of international and national acts, providing entertainment for adults and children.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester is ‘very excited’ about opening the festival in costume this year.

Taking inspiration from Austrian singer Falco’s hit “Rock Me Amadeus,” the Mayor will be fully transformed courtesy of Te Auaha’s Special Effects and Make-up Artistry school.

“CubaDupa showcases the best part of Wellington: the quirk, the artistic and creative nature of the people.”

Cubadupa starts tomorrow midday in Cuba Mall with stages set up throughout the Cuba Quarter for lots of live music.

Sunday, the stages come down and the food stalls come out between 11am and 1pm.


Top Tips for CubaDupa First Timers

  • Comfortable shoes – ideally toe in and heel covered.
    Cubadupa is not the day to break in new shoes!
  • Sunblock and a light raincoat or jersey
  • Cash. In case the EFTPOS goes down, or you want to take advantage of the (usually) much shorter cash queue.
  • ID that proves your age. It’s a busy day for bars and restaurants and you might be asked for proof of age. Take the compliment and have your ID handy.
  • Study the map and the timetable first –
  • A meeting place with friends in case your phone dies.
  • If you’re taking little ones, write your name and mobile number on a wristband so if they get lost, organisers or the police can call you. Often, they’re so upset it’s hard to get any information out of them.
  • Skip lunch. There are so many yummy things to eat. Be adventurous!
  • Be curious. Check out the new Te Auaha campus. Try food you’ve never eaten before. Listen to bands you’ve never heard of. Have a blast.


Listen to Newswire’s CubaDupa 2018 SupaDupa Sampler Playlist of some of the acts playing this weekend while you create your own personalised itinerary at

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is Christchurch born, has lived in Auckland and is loving Wellington. She believes fairness, honesty, David Bowie, and accountability are the foundations of society. Something to tell her? Hit that email button or call her (+64) 27 254 7930.
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