Newtown Fair 2015

Fun in the sun – and a thankyou to Chris Parkin

Newtown Fair 2015 - all roads lead to Batu-Ne-Zna - photo by the Renegade Peach Project

We love Newtown Fair. It’s one of our favourite gigs of the summer, because the crowds are so huge and the mass dancing so enthusiastic.

The weather was perfect (very hot!) the crowds were perfect (hotter!) and the samba was perfect too (even hotter!).

Before the parade we made a special presentation to our CubaDupa sponsor Chris Parkin of the Museum Art Hotel, to say thanks a million for his matched sponsorship of our $5,000 Boosted CubaDupa fundraiser. We were the first group to raise the full amount, and the only group to raise it within the allotted time – and we have Chris to thank as a major contributor to our cause.

We presented Chris with a genuine battered old Batucada chocalho in a genuine battered old 1960s travel case (what else can you give the man who has everything?) and an open invitation to come and play with us whenever he wants. We hope he’ll take us up on the offer – he took to the chocalho like a pro!

As usual at Newtown our parade was more crawl than march, due to the hundreds of enthusiastic dancers who join our own dancers at the front and lead us through the streets. The crowds of 80,000 or so who lined the streets were well into it as well, and it took an inordinate amount of time to arrive at the stage where Niko Ne Zna were doing their thing. Like last year, we had done a bit of sneaky rehearsing so that we could do a couple of songs together – which we did – and made fewer mistakes than last year, too 🙂

Fantastic video of Newtown Fair 2015 highlights (including Batucada a bunch of times)
Video by The Renegade Peach Project

The photo at the top of this page is a wide-angle panoramic shot by The Renegade Peach Project of the crowds (and us) during the Batu-Ne-Zna duet – if you click on it to see the larger version you’ll understand why it takes us so long to parade from one end of Newtown to the other… amazing. Thanks a million Peach Project peeps for letting us use one of the best photos of Newtown we’ve ever seen.

Once we’d finished duetting we went on our merry way once again – as always, honoured to be one of the final acts on the last day of Newtown Fair. We wouldn’t miss it for the world. See you next year!

Photo gallery

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version. You can use left and right arrows on your keyboard to navigate. Photos by The Renegade Peach Project, Alan Shuker, and Claire Jennings:

Media coverage

Bright and bold at Newtown Fair

Festival director Martin Hanley said there were 434 stalls this year, including 147 different places to eat.

He singled out the Wellington Batucada – traditional samba music played by a large percussion group – as his personal highlight because it had the whole crowd dancing. “That’s why it’s such a popular party, because it takes over the streets,” he said. “We put on a show and the guest of honour was Newtown itself.”

Dominion Post, March 9 2015

Video by Chiritsu Daichikaze

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