Wellington's epic street party: CubaDupa

A two-day party in celebration of Cuba Street, Wellington's best-loved and best-known street

CubaDupa procession on Cuba Street

When

28 – 29 Mar 2020

Location

Cuba Street
Wellington CBD

Every March, just as summer is hitting its stride, all of Wellington comes out to celebrate the city’s most vibrant and most creative, best-loved and best-dressed part of town.  

The celebration takes the form of an epic street party that takes over the length of Cuba Street, plus nearby parks and laneways. Restaurants, shops, bars and cafés all get amongst the festivities as art, music, performance and magic takes over the streets and footpaths. Cars are out, and dancing feet are in.

CubaDupa 2020 is set to be the biggest and best yet with 12 stages programmed with 1,500 artists and performers from around the world, over 100 food stalls and special creative zones.

cubadupa
CubaDupa 2019 performers on Cuba Street

A not-to-be-missed mass musical

At the heart of the music at CubaDupa 2020 is an excitingly ambitious project called Cubasonic, a mass musical interruption by New Zealand’s leading composer John Psathas. This ten-minute-long musical happening will be presented on both days of the festival and will involve nearly 500 musicians lining the street, 12 conductors above the crowd, a custom-made overhead sound system and a locally-invented Tesla coil synthesiser known as Chime Red.  

Cubasonic is a true partnership of creative community, generously supported by Creative New Zealand and involving Orchestra Wellington, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, The Nudge, Boat and a mass of Batucada drummers.  

Played throughout the heart of Cuba Street, Cubasonic will be vast, epic, and monumental

John Psathas, Cubasonic conductor

Listen to the music

CubaDupa 2020 features a diverse and free live music programme showcasing almost every genre. VNZMA winner Troy Kingi brings his irresistible galactic funk, alongside rising hip hop star JessB. Contemporary Canadian folk group The East Pointers join the party with their high-energy take on the Celtic tradition. From across the ditch comes Bullhorn, an epic 10-piece brass ensemble fronted by the extraordinary rapper Roman MC, plus local groove masters Dr Reknaw and emerging New Zealand rockers H4lf Cast will be joining the CubaDupa party. 

Join the circus

Another new element making its debut at CubaDupa 2020 is the Mammoth Circus Tent in the Wilson Carpark on Ghuznee Street. The bold and colourful venue will host energetic performances and workshops for all ages by day and transform into a saucy cabaret show by night.  

CubaDupa 2019 performer on stage with audience
CubaDupa 2019 performer
CubaDupa umbrellas
CubaDupa dressed up performer with children

Dress up like an alien

Big Nazo will invade from Rhode Island, with generous support from the Embassy of the United States of America, for their debut visit to New Zealand. The outlandish collective of visual artists, puppet performers and costumed musicians will bring their alien creatures to the streets and stages of CubaDupa. Closer to home, Alien Junk Monsters add their psychedelic recycled trash costumes – and a few new otherworldly offspring. And for the first time ever CubaDupa will play host to BodyPalooza, a new national body paint competition featuring over 30 artists and models painted as alien visitors.  

Eat delicious street food

Cuba Street is home to some of Wellington's favourite eateries so it follows that CubaDupa would serve up some pretty good kai. For culinary disruptions that satisfy any appetite, the Moore Wilson’s Street Feast returns to CubaDupa, with over 100 food stalls and a diverse range of local vendors and culinary experiences.

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