Kiwiburn blazes by the Rangitikei

By zaryd.wilson@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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Just over 1400 people have descended on a farm near Hunterville for the 13th edition of Kiwiburn.  PHOTO/STUART MUNRO
Just over 1400 people have descended on a farm near Hunterville for the 13th edition of Kiwiburn. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO

The temporary city has again risen from the farmland of Rangitikei with more than 1400 people descending on the area for the annual Kiwiburn festival.

The event beside the Rangitikei River sold out last year and numbers are well up on the 985 who attended the 2015 edition.

About 30 theme camps have been set up within the festival offering a range of activities and art, including a library, games and tea, and the "official" unofficial theme camp. Held on a farm near Hunterville, the festival is based on Burning Man, which is held each year in Nevada, US.

The annual New Zealand version is now in its 13th year and its third in Rangitikei after moving from Waikato.

Kiwiburn is also a hive of arts projects which get financial support with grants funded by ticket sales.

No money is exchanged on-site, with burners expected to bring everything they need for the five days with them. Kiwiburn celebrates and encourages inclusion, self-reliance and participation.

"Mostly people come for a sense of community," festival media liaison Shelley Watson said.

WE DO: Marla and Buckie married yesterday afternoon at Kiwiburn. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO
WE DO: Marla and Buckie married yesterday afternoon at Kiwiburn. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO


There was even a wedding yesterday - Marla and Buckie marrying under the trees to the cheers of a few hundred people.

"I'd say about 10 per cent of them I might actually know," Buckie said. "But they're not really strangers either because that's Kiwiburn."

Miss Watson said organisers were not sure why it was so popular this year. It had attracted people from all over the world and tickets had sold four times faster than previously.

"I think people are just getting to know it."

The burning of the effigy will take place today.

"For a lot of people it's a release of the year and then starting fresh."

Sunday night is the burning of the temple which people leave messages on. It's a more quiet, reverent occasion.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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