Amped and ready for Dowse Museum open day

HIGH ENERGY: Big Day Dowse MC Gerry Paul gets in the mood for this Sunday's event.
Kevin Stent/Fairfax NZ

HIGH ENERGY: Big Day Dowse MC Gerry Paul gets in the mood for this Sunday's event.

Lower Hutt is aiming to beat last year's record-breaking crowds at the Big Day Dowse by attracting 10,000 people to a day of live music, family-friendly activities and a free performance by The Black Seeds.

The Big Day Dowse, now in its fourth year, kicks off at midday on Sunday with a performance by Wellington gypsy-style band The Balkanistas, continuing with events ranging from circus acts to hula-hooping.

Host for the day, author and musician Gerry Paul, is delighted to be involved in one of the "coolest events of the summer".

"We have an incredible lineup this Sunday with four of my favourite local bands that you'd usually pay big bucks to go and see.

"We can enjoy their fabulous music for free this weekend. Bring your dancing shoes and get ready for a boogie."

Programmes and events curator Brian Wood says The Black Seeds' performance, at 5pm, will be a rare appearance in the Hutt Valley.

Band co-manager Craig Pearce says its members are looking forward to playing to a local crowd. "It's nice to perform locally in our own city - it's only the second show we [will] have ever done in the Hutt Valley."

The other bands are Eb & Sparrow, at 1.30pm, and Newtown Rocksteady at 3.20pm.

Other highlights include a performance in the square by 16-year-old singer Sianne Dougherty, from Naenae College, and local kapa haka group Manu Aute, on the grass performance area.

Straight after The Balkanistas, the square will be taken over by the Roving Circus, with performances and workshops throughout the day.

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People are encouraged to have family lunches in the museum's courtyard, but alcohol is prohibited.

Dowse Art Museum director Courtney Johnston says she is looking forward to the event, which she says is "all about families". "It's a way that we contribute to the vibrancy of the city by going outside of the building."

 - The Dominion Post

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