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Grey Lynn festival turns 25

BY JOCELYN REIN
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2009
Brassy Beats
Photo: JASON OXENHAM

FESTIVAL FEVER: Members of Brassy Beats, from back left: Bo Hermans, Simon Berry, Marc Colenso, Annette Hart, Rawiri Rangi with Angela Tuisamoa holding son Noah. Front: Tigi Ness and Krystian Ragiel.

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Summer will be made official in the city tomorrow as the Grey Lynn festival returns to celebrate its 25th year.

The popular annual event will see the park filled with music, food, arts, crafts and hopefully sun.

Brazilian music group Brassy Beats will be entertaining on stage and roaming through the crowd on the day.

The group of nine includes mostly old and current members of popular Brazilian music troupe AK Samba and are one of the country’s only samba street bands that incorporates a horn section.

They’ve been together for almost a year and clarinetist Annette Hart says they have "that high energy feel".

Brassy Beats will be kick-ing off the atmosphere at 10am.

"It really adds another dimension when they roam through the crowd," says festival organiser Angela Tuisamoa.

"People can be anywhere and all of a sudden there’ll be a surprise."

She says the focus this year will be less on big stage acts and more on family atmosphere with the whanau stage and "pockets" of entertainment.

She will be heading down to enjoy the day with her family and five-week-old son, Noah.

"This will be his first festival," she says.

"They’re all special festivals, they’re all different."

She says this year’s event will be going ahead rain or shine.

It was unfortunate to have to cancel one festival four years ago and doesn’t want the same thing to happen this year, she says.

"The show must go on."

The grand finale on the day will be New Zealand’s grandfather of reggae Tigi Ness playing with his band Unity Pacific.

Unity Pacific played for the first time at the festival in 1987 and many times since and Tigi says it’s special to be playing at the 25th birthday celebrations.

Tigi says fans can definitely expect to hear old favourites.

"I always like to do Thank You where we thank everybody," he says.

The Grey Lynn local says he’ll going down to soak up the festival atmosphere but will try and rest his vocal chords during the busy day.

"If there’s good food, I’ll be down early," he says.

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- Auckland City Harbour News

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