CubaDupa Set To Be Bigger And Better With Second Wave Of Acts


CubaDupa Set To Be Bigger And Better With Second Wave Of Acts, Zones, Stages, Partnerships and Visual Art Announced

Wellington’s favourite neighbourhood comes alive with colour, art, music, parades,

dance, food, and thousands of creative people the weekend of 28-29 March 2020

WELLINGTON, NZ — The capital’s most diverse and exciting free multi-arts festival, CubaDupa, has expanded its 2020 programming and announced additional artists, performers, and creative elements. Organisers have planned a precinct-wide celebration featuring a dozen stages, over 100 food stalls, special creative zones, and one beautiful disruption after the other. Over 1500 artists and performers are involved, and the weekend audience is expected to top 100,000 people.

“There’s no doubt that throughout the 28-29 March weekend, we will fill the heart of Wellington with wild creativity and the most diverse mix of music, art, performance, and community, ever.” says Festival Director Gerry Paul. “There will be something for everyone, from circus, arts and family shows to spontaneous parades, music from all over the world, ping pong playfulness, and beats of every kind."

Festival-goers will groove with some of Aotearoa’s finest with Māmā Mihirangi & the Māreikura, New Telepathics, Ha the Unclear, Miss June and Hans Pucket all added to the music lineup with today’s announcement. Weaving ancient chants with traditional harmonies, Māmā Mihirangi & The Māreikura present the virtues of feminine power through traditional and contemporary instruments, women’s haka, and Māori martial arts. Down on the street, experience the force that is the Ngā Taiohi o Te Rāwhiti o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika Kapa Haka Group, a student-led ensemble from Rongotai College and Wellington East Girls College. Auckland’s New Telepathics—a 10-piece multi-national band who fuse afro-beat, punk, funk and jazz—will bring an avant-garde explosion to the streets of Te Aro. Ha the Unclear, the four-piece indie rock band also from Auckland will deliver witty lyricism and jangly guitar riffs.

CubaDupa has also announced the addition of Miss June, celebrating a breakout year of touring the world following the release of their debut album, as another high energy experience. Wellington’s indie faves Hans Pucket join the programme with an unmissable live show, complete with a full four-piece horn section. These and many other performers join the existing music lineup which includes JessB, Troy Kingi, Dr. Reknaw, H4lf Cast and the festival’s most ambitious project yet, CubaSonic.

“Mixed in with all the purely New Zealand content, we are also becoming quite a global festival,” says Paul, noting that the 2020 CubaDupa will present creative elements from Australia, North America, Europe, and across the Pacific to Brazil.

Byron Bay five-piece ensemble Borneo bring their powerhouse music to Wellington, with a kinetic combination of funk and punk. Travelling from all corners of the world to expand the international reach of CubaDupa are The East Pointers (Prince Edward Island, Canada), Bullhorn (Brisbane, Australia), Big Nazo (Rhode Island, USA), alongside cabaret stars The Bearded Ladies (Philadelphia, USA) and outrageous stunt ensemble 3 Speed Crunch Box (Sydney, Australia). Adding to the global mix are Irish visual artist Barry “Jazz” Finnegan, Swiss duo Hyperculte, and Brazilian band Brazealand.

On the neighbourhood level, Cuba Street’s local businesses have been busy organising their own stages and programmes as part of the festival. CubaDupa partner Garage Project will present The Wild Workshop Stage in Marion Street, featuring local acts Linen, Sea Mouse, The Troubles, Michael James Keane, DARTZ, Nic & Reuben and DJ Takas. They will be joined by Auckland’s Molly & The Chromatics, and Christchurch’s There’s a Tuesday.

SpaceHall, a brand new stage just down the street at Hotel Bristol, has just been announced as a new CubaDupa feature. From the ripping ‘guitar-less guitar music’ of Wax Chattels to the psychedelic space-disco of Christchurch’s Beacon Bloom, SpaceHall will showcase a wide range of genres from up and down New Zealand. The programme features Tauranga based garage punk two-piece Grown Downz as well as Wellington bands Black Sea Spooks, Bored Housewives Club, The Happy Plaster, Ingrid and The Ministers, SOG and Prison Choir. Rising South African rapper InDuna will join the party, alongside Sam Cullen and techno/house DJ Ludus.

Perhaps the most ambitious new zone, also just announced, is the RadioActive Upper Cuba SoundSphere filling the Abel Smith to Kelvin Grove corridor. Envisaged as a diverse electronic music hub, it’s anchored by some of Cuba Street’s most notable bars, galleries, and creative businesses. Laundry Bar presents their well-loved house and electronic programme with DJs turning the footpath into a dance floor. Across the street, the contemporary art gallery {Suite} will transform their courtyard into an oasis for fans of funk, disco and house, with DJ sets from 4pm until late. Drum and bass is covered by the folks at Breaking Beats, who will host a carpark party in a secret location. And audiences can dance the weekend away at the Tuatara Roots Garden, with a huge lineup of DJs pumping roots and dub through the Sounds Almighty Sound System.

The RadioActive SoundSphere continues with a batucada fix at the Tuatara Third Eye, where Latin American and samba bands converge at the Samba HQ. Over at HeyDay Beer Company, the sounds include live disco, funk and soul bands, and across the street will be a chaotic collection of 80’s floor fillers and 90’s rave hits at Shamblelands. To round out the sonic goodness, Limbic Resonance take over the Vancy carpark in Abel Smith Street with DJs and drinks by Black Dog Brewery.

“Spanning genres, venues, hours and artists the zone will reflect many of the station's sounds,” says Jen Kyle, Station Manager at “It's an amazing opportunity to build on our close relationship with the CubaDupa team and Wellington festival-goers.”

In reaction to the overwhelming response to Alien Weaponry at CubaDupa 2019, festival partner Valhalla are presenting a rock, punk and metal programme across two stages in the venue’s carpark. The stage aptly named ‘Midgard’ in reference to Norse mythology, will host a staggering 19 acts in just one day on 28 March. Channelling the weird, the wonderful and the raucous, Valhalla’s Midgard Stage adds yet another layer to the CubaDupa celebration.

The 2020 festival also marks the beginning of exciting partnerships with local businesses and institutions. Massey University expands its close connection with the festival by presenting the Glover Park Stage, growing its successful student internship programme, and incorporating CubaDupa into its design courses. Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University Wellington join the festival as a major sponsor with a creative partnership that covers the pioneering CubaSonic project, professional internships, and further development of innovative collaborations.

Dancing in the street is always encouraged at CubaDupa and this year community groups join with Footnote New Zealand Dance to present Street Trance, a piece developed by Swiss-based New Zealand choreographer Emma Murray. Along with up to 150 participants and students from the New Zealand School of Dance, Street Trance is a large scale human movement piece that explores transformation through repeated movement. The CubaDupa environment will also feature spontaneous flash mobs organised by Shut Up & Dance and jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics from world-class circus act Freedom2Fly.

Thanks to a creative partnership with City Gallery and Wellington artist Elizabeth Pointon, the festival will also include a fly-over visual art piece high above the streets—as a wondrous salutation to everybody celebrating below. Finally, no festival would be complete without a dedicated CubaDupa brew. Making its debut in March thanks to Leeds Street brewery Fortune Favours is a special limited-edition beer perfect for a late summer celebration.

“Where else can you find thousands of artists and creative people doing their thing, New Zealand’s most iconic street filled with experiences, global connections at every corner, and shops, food vendors, parks, and stages buzzing with vibrant activities?” asks Gerry Paul. “The answer is the beautiful disruption of CubaDupa on 28 and 29 March!”

The upcoming festival is presented by Wellington’s non-profit Creative Capital Arts Trust, and receives essential support from WellingtonNZ, Wellington Regional Amenities Fund, Wellington City Council, Creative New Zealand, and Wellington International Airport. Other generous partners include Kāpura/Wellington Hospitality Group, The Wellington Company, Massey University College of Creative Arts, Cato Brand Partners, ANZ, Light House Cinemas, Wellington Community Trust, Havana Coffee Works, Rogue & Vagabond, Garage Project, Embassy of the United States of America, Australian High Commission, Embassy of Ireland, Wilson Parking and KPMG.

To learn more about artists, programming, and opportunities at the 2020 CubaDupa, visit

CubaDupa 2020 Teaser Video





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