16 August 2013
Kiwi Stars Drum Up Support for Festival Spectacular
It’s not every day you see Academy Award-winner Bret McKenzie and Boy director Taika Waititi drumming up a storm in Cuba Mall. But that’s what happened when the stars came out to play with
a bunch of talented young percussionists from Wellington schools recently. Bret and Taika are just two well-known
Wellingtonians filmed larking around with kids at Wellington landmarks for this video
made especially for the 2014 New Zealand Festival’s Drum Up Support appeal.
Other iconic Wellingtonians in the video include Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, composer Gareth Farr, TV3 political
reporter Patrick Gower and Strike Percussion musicians Murray Hickman and Tim Whitta.
The 2014 New Zealand Festival will begin with a bang in Civic Square on 21 February - bringing 200 young people from all
around New Zealand to Wellington for a huge opening night event. The students, who are being trained through Strike’s Batterie 100 programme, will perform alongside 300 singers from community choirs, and special guests to be announced. This
500-strong concert will be a free event for all of Wellington to enjoy, launching the three-week-long arts festival in
The Big Bang has received funding from the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund*, and from membership contributions from the Friends
of the Festival – but to raise the additional $25,000 needed to make it happen, the New Zealand Festival has launched a
campaign on the crowd funding website Boosted
Murray Hickman of Strike Percussion says his team, currently training students across New Zealand, is looking forward to
the show, “Opening the New Zealand Festival is a big deal – both the Strike musicians and the kids we teach are excited
about The Big Bang. We’ve never staged a performance with all our young drummers from around New Zealand playing together before – it’s
going to be a massive noise and a huge party. We hope everyone will come out to be a part of it – and donate what they
can to help make the show happen”.
Festival Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza says the opening event will mirror the spirit of the New Zealand Festival.
“The Festival is for the whole community so it is fitting that it kicks off with a spectacular public event. For 24 days
in February and March 2014 Wellington will showcase the finest in art, performance and literature from here and around
the world – but it’s also a stage on which everyone can play. Anyone and everyone can help make The Big Bang happen by visiting Boosted to donate $5 or more to the project. It's an exciting way for the whole community to
participate in launching the Festival and give kids from around New Zealand a night to remember.”
Check out the video at Boosted
and donate what you can to help make this massive community event happen.
*The Wellington Regional Amenities Fund, supported by Hutt City Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council, Masterton
District Council, Upper Hutt City Council and Wellington City Council.
Drum Up Supportv6- Bret McKenzie and Taika Waititi in Cuba Mall with students Quincy, Kayla, Alazae, Te Rangiera and
Chatia (Photo: Kelly Dare)