Regional | Festival

Entertainment extravaganza CubaDupa Festival returns to the capital

This weekend sees the return of one of Wellington’s annual festivals – CubaDupa, the free two-day event dedicated to zany Cuba Street featuring musical performances, interactive installations, roaming dance and music ensembles, cultural experiences and a street feast.

This year’s event will also include a dedicated kaupapa Māori stage, Ngā Toi o Te Aro at Te Aro Park, which was the original pā site in Pōneke.

The Māori stage's curator, Vanessa Stacey (Ngāti Kuia, Te Ātiawa) says the festival is full steam ahead after Covid-19 delayed events in the capital last year including the Homegrown festival.

With spectator numbers exceeding 150,000 in 2021, this year’s expectations are for it to return with a bang after the two-year hiatus.

“I’m excited to bring back the ngā toi Māori stage, I’m mana whenua, so it’s a really sacred space for us. It’s really beautiful to have amazing Māori artists, to have beautiful te reo all throughout the space,” she says.

Those taking to the Ngā Toi Māori stage include Apra Silver Scroll winner Aja Ropata, emerging reo Māori artist Tia Ward, Hiwa and many more.

“Kaupapa Māori on the toi Māori stage is going to have an exceptional lineup,” she says.

The festival is also a chance for the melting pot of cultures in the capital to come together and shine, particularly with kai. From Argentinian barbecue to hāngī as part of its street feast, there are also collaborative efforts with pay-as-you-feel charitable restaurant Everybody Eats and other not-for-profit organisations.

Visit the event website here for more information about the weekend.

Public Interest Journalism