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The tourism virtue of Cuba St

8 May 2019

WREDA is busting the traditional online video storytelling mould by creating mini documentaries with colourful local characters guiding viewers along some of Wellington’s most loved streets.

Cuba St is the first in a series of planned videos called A Local’s Guide to Wellington’s Neighbourhoods. Hosted by draglesque star Blue Virtue, it reveals the bohemian vibe of Cuba St and many of its awesome businesses that range from second hand book stores, record shops, cafes, bars, and drag shows through to street festivals.

The 8 min 10 sec Cuba St video goes live on Facebook and YouTube on Wednesday evening. It was made in-house by the WREDA marketing team. Other than staff time, it cost about $500 to create.

WREDA General Manager Anna Calver says domestic and international tourists looking to come to Wellington for a short break are at the heart of the neighbourhood series of stories but they are also designed to tantalise locals.

“We often talk about how Cuba St oozes bohemian style yet when we scrutinised our WellingtonNZ website there was a lack of anything substantive which revealed the authentic Cuba St story.

“This immersive mini-doco changes that. Locals will see familiar landmarks and businesses while Kiwi and international visitors will get a sense of the flavour and vibe of Cuba quarter which they can explore further during their visit to the capital.

“The masterstroke was having acclaimed draglesque star Blue Virtue as the guide. He supplied an abundance of hyper-local knowledge and contagious enthusiasm which helped make the mini-doco sparkle.”

Blue Virtue, a member of Draglesque troupe Haus of Sin, was surprised to be asked but jumped at the chance to guide viewers through a piece of Wellington that’s close to his heart.

“After moving from the West Coast of the South Island to Wellington about six years ago, I found Cuba St to be an inviting, inclusive space for people, especially creative minds, which opened a new world for me personally.

“Cuba St is the heart of Wellington. It’s where people end up either intentionally or unintentionally. It provides a platform and culture for people to enjoy themselves and find their inner slice of true Wellington-ness. It’s a fabulous place to hang out.”

Other neighbourhoods in line to get WREDA’s mini-doco treatment are Courtenay Place, Brooklyn/Aro Valley, Thorndon and Lyall Bay.