Fes­ti­val tick­ets prov­ing Just So pop­u­lar

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEWTSO

Early bird tick­ets have been snapped up quickly for a spe­cial fam­ily-fo­cused fes­ti­val.

The Just So Fes­ti­val is sched­uled for Fe­bru­ary 23-25 next year at Kaitoke Re­gional Park in Up­per Hutt, and event pro­ducer Kaly New­man said the re­sponse so far had been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive.

There had been plenty of chat­ter on the fes­ti­val’s Face­book page and early bird tick­ets that went on sale on Au­gust 1 had sold out within a week.

More than 300 of the 750 al­lo­cated camp­ing tick­ets had also been sold for the fes­ti­val which is pre­dicted to draw about 3000 peo­ple.

‘‘There’s def­i­nitely an ap­petite for it. There isn’t an­other fes­ti­val in New Zealand like it.’’

The fes­ti­val, set up as a not-for­profit reg­is­tered char­ity, will fo­cus on fun, fam­i­lies spend­ing time to­gether and shar­ing cre­ative ex­pe­ri­ences.

New­man said dis­plays of mu­sic, dance and art would be a big part of the fes­ti­val.

It would also hold sus­tain­abil­ity work­shops, in­ter­ac­tive art ac­tiv­i­ties and in­stal­la­tions, and classes in yoga, mind­ful­ness and tai chi.

Other high­lights would be a lan­tern pa­rade, a mid­night feast and the ‘‘tribal tour­na­ment’’, in which fes­ti­val-go­ers dressed up for a se­ries of com­pet­i­tive but good-na­tured chal­lenges.

The venue, Kaitoke Re­gional Park, would also be an im­por­tant part of the fes­ti­val, pro­vid­ing a beau­ti­ful back­drop and ac­cess to bush walks and the river to swim in.

New­man re­cently re­turned home af­ter help­ing run the pro­duc­tion of­fice of the United King­dom’s Just So Fes­ti­val, which has been run­ning for eight years.

‘‘I had such a good time and see­ing the chil­dren and every­one en­joy­ing them­selves, it makes you see there’s a part of life that’s about cel­e­brat­ing.’’

The New Zealand Just So Fes­ti­val would sup­port the Birthright and Grand­par­ents Rais­ing Grand- chil­dren char­i­ties.

Cor­po­rate spon­sors and fes­ti­val go­ers have been en­cour­aged help fund or do­nate tick­ets to ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the char­i­ties.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Just So Fes­ti­val, visit http:/ /just­sofes­ti­valnz.org

PHOTO: COLIN WIL­LIAMS/STUFF

Kaitoke Re­gional Park is the lo­ca­tion for the Just So Fes­ti­val. In­set, Kaly New­man, sec­ond from right, with the UK fes­ti­val team.

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