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Save the Date: New Zealand's Biggest Street Festival CubaDupa Is Returning in 2024

Cuba Street will be taken over by colourful, eclectic performances in March 2024.
By Emma Clark-Dow
December 11, 2023
By Emma Clark-Dow
December 11, 2023

Aotearoa's biggest and most inclusive street festival CubaDupa is coming back to the streets of Wellington in 2024, taking over the capital city for a weekend of live music, eclectic performances and so much more.

CubaDupa takes place on Wellington's Cuba Street, growing bigger and better each time, with the 2024 iteration set to be no exception. The bright and busy street festival will take place over one weekend, from Saturday, March 23–Sunday, March 24, and is expected to bring in a crowd of more than 100,000 fun-loving, creative people to the city centre.

An important aspect of CubaDupa is the celebration of te reo Maōri, which punters will see play out on the Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage in Te Aro Park. The Ngā Toi o Te Aro has already booked a number of Maōri artists, with the aim of celebrating and incorporating te reo and indigenous music into the festival.

While the full lineup is yet to be announced, festival organisers have dropped a first little sneak peek into what CubaDupa has in store for 2024. Both homegrown and international acts will be making an appearance, playing everything from Maōri neo-soul to experimental hip hop.

One of these acts is Shepherds Reign, a five person Polynesian metal band whose unique sound combines traditional metal music with touches of Pasifika culture. Joining the band on the CubaDupa bill, Pollyhill and Samara Alofa will perform a collaboration piece, which aims to showcase ideas of decolonisation and freedom in many forms.

For those on the lookout for beats, Other Futures Big Band will be there to deliver them. This band certainly lives up to the 'big' description, with 20 people — including dancers — performing soul and hip hop tunes. WHO SHOT SCOTT has had the honour of opening for artists like Snoop Dogg and Yung Gravy, while R&B artist Jordyn with a Why's stories of growing up in New Zealand and Samoa will echo through her music.

Street artists from France, UK, Korea and Australia will also be visiting CubaDupa, as well as French artists Franck Vigroux and Antoinne Schmit, who will be bringing their audiovisual project Cascades to the festival. This project was inspired by waterfalls, and uses sound and digital expertise to question human nature and reality.

The theme for CubaDupa 2024 is 'Finding Your Wild', with attendees encouraged to embrace the idea wholeheartedly by dressing up, dancing like no one is watching and exploring the creative concepts they may have never experienced before.

CubaDupa's director Drew James said the festival wanted to focus on "bringing our audience along for the creative ride, with opportunities to take, participate, perform, dress-up and Find Your Wild".

CubaDupa will be held on Cuba Street, Wellington from Saturday March 23–Sunday March 24, 2024. The full lineup and schedule is expected to be announced in January 2024.

Published on December 11, 2023 by Emma Clark-Dow
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