Join Wellington's most colourful street festival at CubaDupa
A two-day celebration of Cuba Street, Wellington's best-loved and best-known street and Aotearoa's most creative and diverse festival
27 – 28 Mar 2021
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 festival 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. Festival goers are encouraged to dress up - wear a costume, paint your face or put on your most colourful outfit and channel your own inner CubaDupa spirit.
A not-to-be-missed mass musical
At the heart of the music at CubaDupa 2021 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 involves over 300 musicians lining the street, twelve conductors above the crowd, a custom-made overhead sound system.
Psathas will be joined by ensembles including Orchestra Wellington, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, The Nudge, Boat and nearly 100 Batucada drummers.
CubaDupa celebrates Wellington's exotic, loud, proud and creative culture.
The Dominion Post
Listen to the music
VNZMA Māori Artist of the Year winner Troy Kingi brings his irresistible galactic funk. Aotearoa's first and finest New Orleans brass band Richter City Rebels will bring their big heart and soul sounds; Christchurch’s There’s a Tuesday will explode onto the scene with their exciting female-fronted 4-piece indie rock/pop band. Local Wellington legends Hans Pucket will perform their pure power pop hits with a full horn section, and emerging local rockers H4LF CĀST will chug through their bangers; hot on the trail to release their debut album in 2021.
Join the circus
Another new element making its debut at CubaDupa 2021 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.
Get pretend married or fake your funeral
Get married (legitimately or not) at the Cuba Chapel, where there’ll also be a street performance of a Pakistani wedding, with all the colours and activities of a traditional ceremony. If you’ve ever wondered about the nice things people will say about you at your funeral, wonder no more – the Cuba Chapel offers you the chance to act out your own funeral with a customised eulogy.
You can dance
It wouldn't be CubaDupa without Cuba Street turning into a dance party, choreographed or spontaneous! Local legends Shut Up & Dance will be bringing their high energy but laidback approach to dance, while Solid Gold Dance Crew will be packing the leotards, sequins and cheesy music. Local professional dance troupe Footnote will bring a stunning performance to the streets, while Sugarfoot Stomp swing dancers will get jazzy and do the Charleston.
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.