Evolve Festival crowds feel right at home

00:00, Feb 17 2014

Evolve Festival organisers Chai and Bex Deva spent a sunny weekend thrilled to see nearly 3000 people fulfilling a dream they first conceived of four years ago.

"That's a highlight as an organiser - seeing it all come to life and everyone picking up this mission that we created in our head," Mr Deva said.

Evolve Festival, a celebration of health and wellbeing, was on all weekend at Founders Heritage Park and included more than 60 workshops and seminars and 100 stall-holders, as well as a full music and entertainment programme. Mr and Mrs Deva developed the concept from the former Festival of Opportunities.

Mr Deva said it went "exceptionally well", with numbers up on last year.

For the first time, camping was available and a few had taken up the opportunity enthusiastically.

"Inner-city camping is one of those things that people needed to experience and we sold more as the weekend went out. It's a word-of-mouth thing." He expected more people to bring a tent next year.

Motueka's Ali Kay attended plenty of workshops, and with husband Rob involved in African drumming instruction, the family decided to go camping and loved the experience.

"It feels like a home when you're there," she said. "When I went out into Nelson afterward, I would look people in the face and they wouldn't look back at me, but at the festival everybody did - it was so like-minded."