New Zealand Festival

The Big Bang - Drum Up Support Appeal

Choose a theme

Copy (Ctrl C) the code below

The 2014 New Zealand Festival will open on Friday 21 February with an explosive event in Civic Square for the whole of Wellington to enjoy.  The Big Bang will star 200 young New Zealanders in a drumming group led by top percussion ensemble Strike and special guests.  They'll be joined by 300 singers from community choirs around the region for a free concert that will launch our three-week long Festival in spectacular style.

In preparation for this special event, young people from Wellington, Christchurch and South Auckland have been training with professional musicians from Strike Percussion.  The Big Bang will build on the innovative Batterie 100 programme created by Strike for children, which not only teaches valuable musical skills but also harnesses the transformative power of collaboration and working towards a common goal.

The Big Bang has already got support from Wellington Regional Amenities Fund, TV3, and contributions from our Friends of the Festival.

But, we still need a little more help to make it happen.

The $25,000 in donations from the public will go towards getting the show on stage. By donating to our Drum Up Support appeal, you are helping young people from around New Zealand open the New Zealand Festival with a bang!


  • The Big Bang is getting close!


    With less than a month to go before the New Zealand Festival 2014 kicks off three weeks of the best in music, theatre, dance and visual arts rehearsals are well under way for the opening night event The Big Bang, partnered by TV3. Students from the Wellington Batterie 100 pogramme have been rehearsing with Strike member Tim Whitta and director Nathaniel Lees at Strike headquarters in Miramar so Radio New Zealand presenter Lynn Freeman went along to a rehearsal to find out what all the noise was about…and there was a lot of noise!

    Listen to her interview with Tim and some of the kids who will be taking the stage on the evening of 21 February to find out how they’re feeling about performing in such a massive event. Make sure you mark the date in your diary too and bring your friends and family to Civic Square to help launch the Festival with a bang!

    The Big Bang is getting close!
  • We did it!


    With only 2 days to go we have reached our target! Thanks to the amazing folk at Jetstar we have secured the final $15,000 we needed to get our Drum Up Support appeal over the line. The New Zealand Festival is the seventh recipient of a Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant which awards money to projects working to enrich the lives of people in the local community. The Flying Start grant is also made up of $15,000 worth of travel which will mean bringing students in from around New Zealand for The Big Bang a lot easier! The head of Jetstar New Zealand said that the creativity and commitment behind The Big Bang project had captivated the judging panel.

    Thank you so much to all the great people we have been working with on the Drum Up Support appeal from the very beginning including Tim and Murray and the guys from Strike Percussion, the Boosted team, Paul Pearson and the fabulous parents and teachers from the local schools, Moore Wilson’s and our wonderful chefs from The Big Banger.

    Thanks also must go to the stars of our Drum Up Support video -Taika Waititi and Bret McKenzie, Gareth Farr, Celia Wade-Brown, Patrick Gower, Quincy, Ihaka, Te Rangiera, Chatia, Kayla and Alazae and the man who put it all together, Rob Appierdo

    Lastly of course a huge thank you to everybody who donated here and the other places we roamed to.

    Roll on February 21 and The Big Bang, I promise it will be a fabulous night to remember! We hope to see you all there

    Read more about the Jetstar grant to New Zealand Festival

    Read more about the Jetstar Flying Start programme and how to apply

    We did it!
  • The Big Banger Sausage Sizzle


    A huge thank you to everyone who came down to support ‘The Big Banger’ sausage sizzle especially the amazing chefs-Martin Bosley, Jacinta Saeki, Steve Logan, Shaun Clouston and Louis Sergeant who lent their time and considerable culinary skills to help us Drum Up Support. We are also supremely grateful to our fabulous Festival Partner Moore Wilson’s for providing the venue and all the delicious ingredients and Strike for coming down and doing an incredible performance. We are happy to report that we raised just over $3,200 and we are now at 28% of our target.

    The Big Banger Sausage Sizzle
  • The Big Banger Sausage Sizzle


    This Saturday 5 October the Festival team will be at Festival Partner Moore Wilson's all day for ‘The Big Banger’ gourmet sausage sizzle.  If you're in Welly join us for this fabulous event featuring some of our most celebrated local chefs. Martin Bosley will kick off the day with his famous bacon butties followed by Circa Theatre's Encore Restaurant chef Jacinta Saeki with a beautiful summery Asian salmon salad. In the afternoon Steve Logan and Head Chef Shaun Clouston from Logan Brown will serve a delicious German duo of bratwurst and sauerkraut and closing the day Chef de Pâtisserie Louis Sergeant from Hippopotamus at the Museum Art Hotel will whip up some mouthwatering French pastries for you to take to your dinner party that night or eat yourself before you've even got to the street!

    All proceeds will go towards Drum Up Support

    When: Saturday 5 October

    Where: Moore Wilson's
    Times: 9am - 5pm

    9am - Martin Bosley's
    11am - Encore Restaurant
    1pm - Logan Brown
    3pm - Hippopotamus

    Image:  Martin Bosley

    The Big Banger Sausage Sizzle
  • Christchurch Batterie 100 drum up a storm


    Last week the Christchurch Batterie 100 raised the roof at the Cardboard Cathedral performing as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival with Strike Percussion. 100 kids took part in the concert from seven schools - Aranui High, Heathcote Valley School, Linwood Intermediate, Linwood College, South New Brighton School, Avondale School and Linwood Avenue School.

    According to New Zealand Festival Regional Coordinator Emma Carter, who flew to Christchurch for the event “it was an energetic and passionate performance – so much volume and enthusiasm! A brilliant, uplifting event that packed out the cathedral and really brought the community together”.

    Murray Hickman from Strike will be making the selection from Christchurch for The Big Bang this week so we look forward to seeing some of these faces on February 21 in Wellington.

    We have some exciting Drum Up Support events planned for the coming month so look out for more ways you can #drumupssuport soon!

    Christchurch Arts Festival image: David Alexander 

    Christchurch Batterie 100 drum up a storm
  • Amanda Palmer Drums Up Support


    We were lucky enough to have singer and crowdfunding maven, Amanda Palmer in town the other day. A couple of us from the office joined her on her Ninja Parade and snapped this great photo at Te Papa with our #drumupsupport drum/nifty donation box.

    If you haven't seen her amazing TED talk The art of asking check it out.  So inspiring!


    Amanda Palmer Drums Up Support
  • Thanks so far!


    Thanks everyone who has given so far! We're just over ten days into the appeal and it's been really exciting seeing our donations get higher. The students are busy with rehearsals and were stoked to perform at the Bledisloe Cup Fanzone on Saturday before the game.

    If you're in Wellington, come on down to the Friends of the Festival talk on Thursday 29 August at the St James Theatre from 6 - 8pm. You'll be able to see the young people perform and hear about The Big Bang and Drum Up Support from Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza. Tim Whitta from Strike Percussion will also be there talking about the journey of the Batterie 100 project around the country. All are welcome, no RSVP required. 

    We've had nearly 700 views of our video on Youtube already and would love to get more so please keep sharing and encouraging people to donate. 


    Thanks so far!

New Zealand Festival

The New Zealand Festival enlivens the world's coolest little capital with over 300 events in outdoor spaces and indoor stages across the city.

View profile

Image for New Zealand Festival