Press Release


By February 27, 2024 July 10th, 2024 No Comments

Whaea tō Taniwha! Ki te ahurei a CubaDupa!

Today CubaDupa announces its full programme for 2024. The best free arts festival in Aotearoa is returning again on March 23rd & 24th to close off the summer in Pōneke, with a full lineup hinting at a weekend packed with culture, variety, and excitement. 

Each year, attendees from all across the motu venture to the Capital City to join this celebration of the Cuba precinct. This year, CubaDupa wants you to Find Your Wild amongst the crowd, art, and festivities. The festival will transform the Cuba Street you know and love to an untameable wonderland. Gather your whānau, rally your friends, dress up in your favourite colours, and dance through the Cuba Street jungle!

CubaDupa Festival Director, Drew James says: “Explore your wild in the CubaDupa urban jungle! We have grown a festival that once again fills the air, the streets, the carparks, growing out of every crevice and corner of the Cuba Street precinct for 18 hours of non-stop delights and entertainment. With over 250 performances and 800 performers, we invite you to go Wild in creating CubaDupa 2024 with us.”

This year’s programme is as diverse as ever. Widely known for its music lineup, the 2024 festival will not disappoint. In addition to Kaupapa Māori musicians, singer-songwriters, 11-piece bands, DJs, electronic and rap artists, to name but a few, CubaDupa will host a body-painting competition, a Wellington-first mass ukulele parade, Korean and UK street performers, French levitation acts, puppet performances, a silent disco, live mural painting, its infamous parades, and more! The range of acts available at CubaDupa this year is truly a fitting end to a scorching summer in Pōneke.

Every festival, the CubaDupa programme hosts both upcoming and veteran musicians, and always shakes up the lineup with fresh acts; this year is no exception. Amongst this group are a wide range of musicians from all over Aotearoa. Included in the 2024 lineup is Tāmaki Makaurau based, African-born artist DJ ORIKoL, bringing Africa to the stages of CubaDupa with a dynamic mix of drumming, and a must-see fusion of African dance and tunes that will make you boogie until you sweat. Another Tāmaki-based crew, Soft Bait, will be contributing to the CubaDupa diversity with their own brand of high energy post-punk chaos. Soft Bait’s sonic package of charging guitar riffs and quirky ear worm vocal hooks will reel you in from across the festival and stick with you until after it’s over.

Sapphic-raging, ethereal rock band Maiden Name also join the festivities, alongside the catchy indie-emo tunes of Carb on Carb and electronic jazz-rock fusion band Milk Tooth. Also joining the line-up are dancefloor stars Ludus and BABETECH, local legends DJ Coda, Jen Kyle and Don Luchito, and DJs presented by the Pōneke underground collective Practice Presents: Awa, Ruwa and Eml. With assistance from Te Māngai Pāho, another local musician at CubaDupa this year is Mo Etc.; a Welly-Deep Alternative Soul artist who infuses the sounds of indie and soul. Elusive and effortless, the songstress delivers striking performances steeped in heart and rich in story.

With a strong celebration of distinctive and contemporary Asian culture, the Asia New Zealand Foundation Street and Music Showcase includes ABRZY, Momggol and Gina Hwang. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, hot hip-hop artist ABRZY joins the lineup with his bilingual Bengali and English vocals featuring killer wordplay that will make you double-take. ABRZY’s upbringing inspires his craft. He found his home in Aotearoa which is where his music began to soar. 

Coming to Wellington all the way from Korea is the incredible street performance group, Momggol. Momggol’s whānau-friendly performance demonstrates the precarious equilibrium that comes from the tension between opposing forces, reminiscent of our own struggles to find balance or equanimity. Featuring specially constructed steel hemispheres, this performance is an exhilarating alchemy of physics and artistic expression. With support from Asia NZ Foundation, KAMS Center Stage Korea, and international logistics supported by Kuehne + Nagel, Momggol’s whānau-friendly performance demonstrates the precarious equilibrium that comes from the tension between opposing forces, reminiscent of our own struggles to find balance or equanimity. Featuring specially constructed steel hemispheres, this performance is an exhilarating alchemy of physics and artistic expression.

 Also coming from Korea thanks to funding from Asia NZ Foundation and KAMS Center Stage Korea is Geomungo player, Gina Hwang. Blending digital skills such as live looping with the traditional Korean instrument, prepare to be wowed by her talent. 

Another international artist coming to New Zealand all the way from Brazil is Isabella Rovo and Camerata Caipira. They will be showcasing their signature range of Brazilian rhythms and styles — both traditional and popular — framed in a contemporary arrangement for strings, percussion and voices.

The fun doesn’t stop there. CubaDupa 2024 boasts seven creative zones that will host a multitude of cultural and artistic events. Amongst this programme is the Australian performative painter, Thom Buchanan, supported by the Australian High Commission and Resene. Buchanan will be stationed in the Cuba precinct, live-painting a mural orchestrated by a dynamic fusion of mark-making, the weaving together of diverse forms, textures, and concepts into a cohesive visual symphony. 

From closer to home, Kāpiti Art Studio is an inclusive, accessible, creative space where artists who face participation barriers in the arts come together to be creative. They are bringing their interactive art installation to this year’s festivities and elevating CubaDupa’s creative zones. 

Another highlight of the 2024 lineup is the beautiful, skillful and surreal performance, Dream Garden from COLOSSAL, which combines aerial circus, projection art and physical comedy. A gentle and captivating experience for the whole whānau and a valued addition to the festival. 

There are lots of ways for attendees to get involved this year too, from dressing up to taking part in parades or dancing on the street. Check out Choe Loftus’s US dance performance where you can be one of the dancers stretching along Cuba Street, bring your ukulele and play along to Uke-A-Dupa, audition for Māorioke, transform yourself with the Costume Cave, do the Double Denim parade with AK Samba, or even re-live the ‘70s with the CubaDupa Soul Train and Other Futures Big Band.

Don’t miss the festival’s bespoke live screen-printing station, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Nelson and Brazen Clothing. Here, audiences will be able to save a t-shirt or hoodie from landfill and get a limited edition 2024 design live printed on it, to take home as a memento. CubaDupa is also collaborating with the new Aotearoa-built platform PickPath to bring a curated guided experiences to festival-goers this year.

Joining us for their first year in the Cuba precinct is Fresh Choice, with a recently opened store in Upper Cuba. The Fresh Choice Street Feast presents a variety of local bars and restaurants alongside stalls and areas to chow down all along Abel Smith Street and into the new Ghuznee Street Kai Zone. Treat yourself with Authentic Italian from Scopa and 1154 Pastaria, unbeatable Argentinian woodfired barbeque from El Matador, exquisite local and seasonal offerings from Cuba St Icons Olive & Fidels and round it out with a carnival atmosphere + South American barbeque at Southern Cross Garden bar & restaurant. Wander on up to satiate your hunger and fuel your inner wild.

The festival’s most popular stages are also returning for this year’s celebration. Thanks to Wellington Airport, one of CubaDupa’s partners, the Wellington Airport Ngā Taniwha Stage is coming back to Cuba Street central at Wilson carpark. On Ghuznee Street, there is the Glover Park stage. This stage incites a wild dance party with its soft grass setting and kiwi summer feel. Enjoy the music from the dancefloor, or the nearby bar — Rogue and Vagabond — or the Havana coffee lounge. Further down the street at Te Aro Park is the Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage — a space at the festival dedicated to kaupapa Māori and the celebration of our Pasifika whānau. The award-winning artists and acts playing at this stage will be showcasing the creativity and strength of Pasifika peoples and Tangata Whenua. Te Aro park will also be hosting traditional kai stalls, a Wānanga space and an area for whānau to enjoy themselves.

The full lineup is available to view at now, and listed below.

CubaDupa 2024 Full Lineup: ABRZY, AKSamba, Amba Holly, Amira, Awa, BABETECH, Bad Taste, Battleska Galactica, Bay Batucada, BigMacSlabs, Billington’s Ballistic Blues!, Birdlife Productions, Brainwave, Brazza, Brew House Beats Residents, BTD B*tches, Buffalo Rider, BXRT, C-26 Salsa Band, Camerata Caipira, Carb on Carb, Cecilia’s Crop, Chase Woods & Shush, Cherry Punch, Chloe Loftus, Chronic Shnxman, Clube do Choro Wellington, COLOSSAL, Cruelly, Crumbly Jack, Crying Club, CubaDupa Soul Train with Other Futures Big Band, CUBAN☆FUSION, Danica Bryant, Diana Chasma, DJ By Accident, DJ Coco, DJ Coda, DJ Don Luchito, DJ Dozen, DJ MAZDEF, DJ Mikki Dee, DJ ORIKoL, DJ Takas, DJ Tommy Thomas, DKAV, Donk Dobbo, Dylz, Ellay W, Eml, Esbee, Fine Wine Social Club, First Reserve, Foley, Franck Vigroux & Antoine Schmitt, Further Sound, FVKVKSHIMA, Gina Hwang, Girls Rock the Boys, glitzclub, Good Things DJs, Goodnight My Darling, Half Hexagon, Hearth, Idhayam, Imon Starr – Emcee, Iris Little, Isabella Rovo and Camerata Caipira, Isabella Rovo with Fohobodó musicians, Iskra, James Graves, Jen Kyle, Jenna Winterton, Jordyn with a Why, Kāpiti Art Studio, Korekash, L’immédiat, Lakeboon, Lost Tribe Aotearoa, Louis ™, Ludus, Maddyhoon, Maiden Name, Manaia Toa, ManicPixieDJ, Megan McCarthy, MELODOWNZ, MESSIE, Mikeyy, Miles Hendricks, Milk Tooth, Mishahesa, Miss Juliet, Mo Etc., MOHI, Momggol, Mr Bump, Neverwoz, NOYER B2B TAMAR, OdESSA, Olin Yoliztli, Oscar Lavën’s WildSax, Pacific Connection, Parcel of Rogues, PLUG, PollyHill x Samara Alofa, Practice Presents, Red Dog Saloon Band, Revulva, Richard Killeen Exhibition, Ripship, Romi Wrights, ROO, Ruwa, Samba dos Amigos, Sean O’Connor – Emcee, Shepherds Reign, Shut Up & Dance Ltd, Side Eye, Snakebone, Soft Bait, Solar Daze, Solid Gold Dance Crew, Son de Cuba Quartet, Spontaneous Rhombustion, Star Time, Stu x Wade, SUNAINA, The Giant Balloon Show, The Great Donsey, The Nukes, The Salvation Army Cuba Street Brass, The Shicka Chickas, The Weather Machine, Thom Buchanan, Tom Knowles with Friends, Tyler Leggett, Uncle Silverback, Unidos de Aotearoa, Unwell, Vanessa Stacey – Emcee, Vati, Vesika, VNESS, Vorn, Vox Ethno, WAGUAN, Wallflower, Warren Duncan & Zamalek, warwick donald, Wellington Batucada, WHO SHOT SCOTT, Willy SmacknTush – Emcee, Windy Workshop, Yaw Asumadu and Ozi Ozaa, Yumoi Zheng & Isadora Lao, Zamba Flam, Zane and Degge.

CubaDupa would not be possible without the tautoko of its incredible sponsors: Wellington City Council, Wellington International Airport, NZME, E Tū Whānau, Havana Coffee Works, Ministry of Ethnic Communities, Ambassade de France à Wellington, Australian High Commission, Asia NZ Foundation, Creative New Zealand, KAMS (Center Stage Korea), Te Māngai Pāho, Resene, Wilson Parking, Go Media, Pub Charity, Lion Foundation, Four Winds Foundation, KPMG, Aro Digital, NZ Music Commission, Fresh Choice, Six Barrel Soda, Werk, Gilmours, S*LK Event Design, Radio Active fm.

Photo by Amandala Photography.