Meet the newest Music, Culture, Arts, Food and Drinks festival on the block: Kiwi Fest is an All-Ages annual one-day celebration of NEW ZEALAND culture, bringing together Melbourne’s Kiwi communities for a diverse festival of all things AOTEAROA. This week the festival will also be donating $10 from every ticket sold between 15 January – 19 January to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
On Saturday 15 February, Kiwi Fest is taking over the lush, green, outdoor riverside lawn at Footscray Community Arts Centre, the perfect setting for live music, cultural performances, traditional and artisanal food and drink from New Zealand’s world-renowned industry, as well as a Kiwi mākete village (markets) selling a wide array of Kiwiana, Māori, Pacific Island and contemporary goods and wares.
Kiwi Fest 2020 aims to bring together and share all classic beloved Kiwi things to the suburbs of Melbourne. Created by old high school friends and Wellington expats Jacob Howard and Chris Lemeulu, the pair reconnected over a few beers watching an All Blacks game, lamenting the lack of events serving the large community of Kiwis in Melbourne.
Together Jacob and Chris started gathering the local community and business figureheads with a clear vision to make Kiwi Fest an annual celebration of Melbourne’s New Zealand community. “We began crafting an event that offered a bit of a ‘Slice of Heaven’ for both Kiwis here and anyone else who wanted to taste a little sample of New Zealand culture. It was important for us that this was community based at its heart, was 100% outdoors and captured our relaxed ethos, great products and rich culture” says Creative Director Jacob Howard.
The inaugural event is to be headlined by Che-Fu, the legendary hip hop and RnB icon. With the most top ten songs of any individual in New Zealand musical history, Che-Fu is one of New Zealand’s most successful and beloved recording artists. Originally coming to attention as a founding member of the iconic Kiwi band Supergroove, Che went on to forge a solo career unrivalled in its success and the trail that it blazed not only for hip hop but Kiwi music.
Audiences will also be treated to other local and Pasifika artists including roots heavyweight Israel Starr, the soulful Iva Lamkum, beatmaker and DMC World Champion DJ SPELL, the Polynesian roots infused reggae vibes of The Refugees, and Amin Payne will be brining his G-Funk and disco sound along with very special guest vocalist and fellow Kiwi Stacey.
Hangi boys is the story of 4 guys from the North Island showcasing their heritage and culture through traditionally cooked NZ cuisine. With over 40 years of combined experience in Hospitality internationally, living here in the renowned food capital of Australia. The unique flavour of Hangi stems from pre-colonialism days passed on through generations of Maori, it was a staple diet for many celebrations. Using spices such as horopito, fresh market produce and native wood from our homeland we aim to capture the attention of both international guests and kiwis living abroad right here in Melbourne.
Garage Project was started in Wellington by two best mates with a passion for the good stuff. Within a few short years, they turned their microbrewery into the widely acclaimed best brewery in New Zealand. Garage Project dominated the GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers for 2019, taking out first place with its Pernicious Weed, second with its DFA, and landing a total of 25 beers on the list overall.
The inaugural Kiwi Fest celebrates the diverse Kiwi community with Māori and Pacific Island Cultural Performances from Ngā Mātai Pūrua, Collateral Culture and Nga Uri Whaioranga all Highlighting bringing people together through shared history and culture, learning forgotten histories and the education of traditional rites and practices.
Kiwi Fest is an all-ages cultural event paying tribute to the Land of the Long White Cloud. Join the festivities and share the Kiwi love for the environment and respect of Maori and Pacific Island traditions and culture.
KIWI FEST 2020
Saturday 15th February – Footscray Community Arts Centre
Che-Fu, Israel Starr, Iva Lamkum, DJ SPELL, The Refugees, Amin Payne + Stacey
Ngā Mātai Pūrua, Collateral Culture and Nga Uri Whaioranga
Hangi Boys and Garage Project
All Ages Event (All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult)
2pm – 10pm
Tickets: $30-$55+BF | Children Under 3 Free
Tickets via Eventbrite