Big Day Dowse 2013 has been and gone - and what an amazing day it was. An estimated 7500 people packed Dowse Square and The Dowse Art Museum. Have a look at the programme below and view the photographs in the image gallery above.
Radio Active presents the second annual Big Day Dowse, Sunday 24 March 2013, 12–6pm. Once again it's a big day out for all ages with a packed programme of live music, visual artists and incredible entertainers – and it's all FREE. Last year 5000 people partied in Dowse Square to the sounds of Rhombus and Bella Kalolo. In 2013 we welcome Wellington's favourite sons, The Phoenix Foundation, preceded by the fabulous Anika Moa, Newtown Rocksteady and Niko Ne Zna.
On stage at 5pm: The Phoenix Foundation, whose sound is described as 'indie rock', is without doubt one of New Zealand's most accomplished bands. With two gold albums, a hit movie soundtrack (Taika Waititi's Boy) and a NZ Music Award for Best Group, this six-piece band, led by Samuel Scott and Luke Buda, produce a distinctive, smooth sound. Their 2011 album Buffalo was nominated for eight New Zealand Music Awards and described by the UK Independent as 'a radiant, marvellous sound'.
On stage at 3pm: Anika Moa and her band are also top of the bill at Big Day Dowse. Winner of Best Female Solo Artist in the 2010 NZ Music Awards, Anika is a talented singer songwriter and her performances are always mixed with her own down to earth wit and style. In 2000, Anika became the first New Zealand act to sign directly to a major international record label before making a name for herself at home – however the pull of Aotearoa was too strong and she was soon back to develop her career at home.
There'll also be the brass-laden festive sounds of Wellington bands, Niko Ne Zna, opening Big Day Dowse at noon, and Newtown Rocksteady, on stage at 1:30pm.
As well as the major acts, Dowse Square will again host high wire antics from Fuse Circus throughout the day (performing alternate to the main stage at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm), Erica and Struan from New Zealand Tape Art will once again perform magic on The Dowse building plus there'll be stilt walkers, the bubble man, street theatre and food stalls. Inside the gallery, there'll be a digital installation, An Interactive Earth (pictured above), by Auckland digital artist Jon Baxter and our old friends from The Amazing Travelling Photobooth. Craft stalls from the Underground Market will also be inside and our usual exhibition programme will remain, so wander through the galleries at your leisure.
12-3pm On the grassed area behind the Square, there'll be a family friendly chill-out zone and FREE hands-on activities for children: clay-sculpting, rock painting, badge making, spin art and creative canvas painting, 'Mini-masterpieces'. There'll also be face painting and a bouncy castle. At 1pm, The Scallywags, a ukulele band will be entertaining famlies on the grass.
At 2pm, Dowse Educator Jen Boland will present storytelling in the upstairs family lounge inside The Dowse.
Hon Ray Wallace, Mayor of Lower Hutt, will be taking to the stage at 3pm to acknowledge the day's festivities.
Dowse Square is designed by Athfield Architects and Wraight + Associates, the same team behind Wellington's award-winning Waitangi Park. The square features paved and grassed areas, a fresh water spring as well as Fallen Robot, a huge metal man reclining in a pool of water, by Melbourne-based New Zealand artist Ronnie Van Hout. Auckland artist John Reynolds has contributed a living sculpture 'room' of Titoki trees.
Big Day Dowse is an alcohol-free event, although you can purchase and consume wine and beer at Cafe Reka.
Keep up to date with what's on the programme by checking dowse.org.nz and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Sponsored by Radio Active with support from AVS, Tuatara and Nga Waka.