Bagpipes and rain: Cuba Dupa 2017

The weekend rain stopped long enough for to enjoy a bit of this year’s Cuba Dupa street festival.  It’s a great event, with all sorts of artists and events taking over Cuba Street and surrounding streets in Wellington.  Last year the weather was fantastic, but this year it rained quite a bit, and poor Footnote Dance were unable to perform on a special pink stage for their latest piece.

Things kick off around noon, so we started with lunch at El Matador, who were offering a selection of street food.  Karl had the chorizo hot dog (which got the thumbs up) and I had the 6-hour cooked lamb with chimichurri and aioli.


After eating, we walked up the street and watched AKSamba.  Or rather, we heard bagpipes and headed over to see what was going on and found ourselves watching and listening to samba combined with bagpipes.  It was great fun and honestly, you’ve never lived until you listen to Scotland the Brave performed to a samba rhythm.

Tartan samba

From there we wandered about, stopping for a short while in the Hannah Courtyard to see a small section of Stravinsky’s Renard the Fox, performed by Orchestra Wellington and students from Te Auaha as well as professional opera singers.

Characters in Renard the Fox
Wellington wall

As the rain started to fall, we headed for a drink at The Rogue and Vagabond, quickly stopping for more bagpipes and drums, though without a samba or salsa rhythm.

More bagpipes with Clan Celtica
Cuba Dupa beer from Garage Project

Of course, as soon as we got home, the sun started to come out, but it was a fun, if shorter than we wanted, afternoon out.  Still, it did mean a bit of time for sofa and tea as well!

If you are curious about the photo at the top in the featured image position, yes it is a pile of skulls that were sitting outside where we had lunch.

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