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Just So Festival launches in New Zealand

Wild Rumpus, organiser of Just So Festival, has revealed details of the first New Zealand edition.

Just So Festival New Zealand will be an annual, intimate, weekend-long festival and imaginative outdoor adventure like no other.

A multi award-winning arts festival which is now in its 8th year in the UK, and after a sell-out inaugural year in Brazil 2016, Just So Festival New Zealand will be the only arts camping festival for families in NZ and will take place in the stunning natural setting of Kaitoke Regional Park in Upper Hutt.  It will be the first festival and first major event of this scale at the park.

With a love of stories and childhood escapades at its heart, Just So Festival will enable families to step out of their day to day lives and into a wonderland of world class literature, art, theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and creative pursuits in a natural and safe setting. Underpinned by the Tribal Tournament, the most bonkers competition in the land, it will take audiences (from bumps to great grandparents) on a unique expedition of mischief and mayhem, to lands full of magical midnight feasts, curious creatures, raucous pillow fights, hidden retreats, top notch food and drink, boutique camping options and breathtaking beauty. As the founders of the UK festival, Sarah Bird and Rowan Hoban say, “If we don’t give you goosebumps, we are not doing it right”.

Kaitoke Regional Park is recognised as NZ’s Outstanding Park by the NZ Recreation Association (its tranquil atmosphere, with rivers you can swim in and a pristine natural rainforest, will leave the whole family relaxed and recharged). It is one of only 16 parks in NZ this year to have won the prestigious International Green Flag Award, and was used as the magical location for Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Kaly Newman, the New Zealand Producer, hails from the UK and took her own son to the UK festival in the first years of its inception.  Having lived in Wellington for the past three years and appreciating the kiwi outdoor lifestyle and love of creativity, it became clear that the Just So Festival could bring much joy to families in New Zealand. She says, “Just So Festival is completely unique and my son and I created wonderful memories there.  Now that he is a teenager, I fondly look back on that moment in time where we sung, danced, dressed up, and laughed together, enjoying the sunshine and nature and the joyous festival environment – it was the perfect way to spend our summers“.

The line-up of over 100 artists and performers is due to be revealed in the coming months and areas of the festival will include The Spellbound Forest (woodland theatre, campfire stories and nature and bushcraft) The Social (artisan food and drink), Footlights (live music) and Peekaboo (fun activities for 0-4’s). The Village Green will act as a performance space and the nerve centre of the Tribal Tournament. Throughout the festival join your chosen animal tribe and dress up, compete in ridiculous games and all manner of unexpected shenanigans to earn coveted golden pebbles and become the winning tribe. Find your tribe on festival Sunday and take part in the Tribal Parade, a Just So highlight.

A not-for-profit arts festival and registered charity, the ticket price includes all entertainment and programming across the festival site, with capacity capped at 3000 in the initial year of the festival to ensure a magical, relaxing and safe environment for all. Just So is recognised in the UK for its pioneering approach to accessibility, enabling families with all needs and preferences to enjoy and participate together, and firm commitment to sustainability and leaving minimal impact on the environment.

Mayor Wayne Guppy says “The concept of a family orientated festival is magnificent. There is also no better site suited to host the event than the tranquil settings provided at Kaitoke Regional Park in Upper Hutt. I look forward to seeing the success such a festival will bring to our community”.

Prue Lamason, Greater Wellington Regional Councillor for Upper Hutt says “This festival will be a fantastic weekend for families at Kaitoke Regional Park. Its natural beauty will give this unique festival a magical feeling and reinforces our regional  parks are beautiful places in which to visit and camp. I am thrilled that we, along with other councils in the region, are able to support this festival for our families.”


For information and tickets visit


Steve Heap: 7th Aug 2017 09:15:00

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