NEW ZEALAND: The beloved British family arts festival Just So has announced that it will stage its first New Zealand edition from February 23 – 25 2018. Situated in Kaitoke Regional Park, Wellington, Just So New Zealand will be an annual, intimate event that retains its antecedent’s proclivity for imaginative set design and diverse creative pursuits.
Now in its eighth year in the UK, and having just enjoyed a sell-out inaugural year in Brazil, Just So’s latest overseas venture will be the only arts camping festival for families in NZ and will take place in the picturesque 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.
Staying true to the Just So brand, the festival promises to encompass literature, art, theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, a Tribal Tournament, midnight feasts, pillow fights, hidden retreats, food and drink, boutique camping options and natural surroundings.
Kaly Newman, Producer of Just So New Zealand, hails from the UK and took her own son to the UK festival in its first years. 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 commented: “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 sang, 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 Just So staples like The Spellbound Forest, The Social, Footlights and Peekaboo. The Village Green will act as a performance space and the epicentre of the Tribal Tournament.
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 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.
Mayor Wayne Guppy said: “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, said: “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.”