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Unsilent Night

Jingle all the way through Wellington with this offbeat Christmas event.
By Catherine Reisima
November 02, 2018
By Catherine Reisima
November 02, 2018

If you haven't got round to packing away last year's tinsel (just me?) then the good news is, you needn't bother because Christmas is sneaking up yet again.

Kicking off Wellington's silly season this year, Unsilent Night is an immersive new event that promises to deliver festive feels in an unconventional way.

Unsilent Night began in New York in 1992 when Phil Kline had an idea for a different kind of Christmas party. He composed a piece of electronic music, invited a bunch of friends along to a spot in the city, gave each person a boombox with one of four tapes in it, and instructed everyone to hit play at the same time. They then took to the streets, creating a magnificent soundscape. The event was so popular it became an annual tradition and eventually spread around the world, spanning 124 cities, five continents and counting. Now it's Wellington's turn to take these festive beats to the streets.

On 1 December, participants are invited to gather at the Wellington Railway Station with their choice of instrument — smartphone, bluetooth speaker or an old school stereo, take your pick. Everyone gets one of four musical tracks to play by downloading an app or mp3 file, or if you want to go full 90s, there are even a few cassette tapes up for grabs. The crowd will then start playing the music simultaneously, before parading through the city, performing a magical street symphony.

Starting at 9pm, this is a free event for all ages, no musical ability required. Torches, glow sticks and fairy lights are encouraged for extra dazzle. If the city event is a bit late for the littlies, there's also a whanau-friendly daylight walk in Porirua from 5pm.

If you fancy carolling without the cringe, round up your mates, BYO instruments and jingle all the way through Wellington this December.

Image: Tom Jarmusch, Taylor Davidson, Phil Kline.


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