The Pickle Pot Be-In is back.
Claiming to be the world's youngest festival organisers, Aurélie Bray and Caleb Jack are back for a second year organising the eclectic festival for January 8, after a wild ride last year.
Getting together with a group of friends with a bunch of guitars after a day at the beach last year, the friends were having such a great time that the couple decided to turn it into a festival for all to enjoy.
Little did they know there would be hundreds of pages of consent forms, waste management hire, and meetings galore to secure the rights to host one of Kāpiti's only late-night outdoor music festivals.
"It was hard, hard, hard leading up to the festival, and then the day was just awesome," Caleb said.
"The day that it happened was a huge high, but then the day after it happened it was back down to a low as we had to pack down from 500 people, with only a few helpers."
"We were surprised at how well word of mouth worked," Aurélie said.
"We got about 500 people throughout the festival, from young families with kids running around in the afternoon, to a teenagers and young adults dance party in the evening.
The festival had music with local bands performing, an open mic session and other activities – all free.
"With the open mic, we had people in mind that we would shoulder tap if no one signed up, but there was such a long line of people wanting to do it that we eventually had to cut it.
"This is awesome because it shows we set an atmosphere where people felt super-confident and comfortable.
"The atmosphere was super-chill, it had a real community feel."
Now that they know they can run a successful event, Aurélie and Jack are looking to give the next one "real personality".
"The core of why we are doing this is to empower people to share their talents.
"Whether that's on stage, cooking and making the food, or taking photos at the event, there's no big company behind it, we're trying to encourage all attendees to participate.
"We want people to get up onto stage or participate in the workshops we're running this time and leave at the end of the night having learnt something."
With 12 acts, a mixture of bands, musicians and speakers, poi-making classes, food, art and sport, the festival is set to be bigger and better this time around, but still remain free.
"There are so many things in the world you can pay for, and such a small amount of things that are truly free.
"Summer is a time where there's a lot of exclusion with music festivals and parties.
"Here, you don't have to pay for the food, you don't have to pay for anything.
"We think enjoyment and community should be free."
With support from Kaibosh who last time provided 100kg of food, the Salvation Army, Kāpiti Youth Support and Zeal, the festival was run with a budget of just under $3000.
"It would be so much easier to go and buy all this stuff from AliExpress, but we want to be sustainable and environmentally friendly.
"Upcycling and buying stuff from op shops is definitely challenging, but it's rewarding."
This time, with about $5000 funding thanks to a win at the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards and securing funding from council, they are hoping to have 1000 attendees.
From its humble beginnings as a group of school kids creating a substance-free, all-day music festival; to now, working young adults running a major festival, their goal is to turn the festival into a social enterprise so it can remain sustainable.
"Social enterprise is the goal eventually, we don't want to be making heaps of money off this, but we want it to be sustainable for us," said Caleb.
"We're both working full time, working on other projects and organising the festival on top of that which is a lot of work.
"I don't think we can run Pickle Pot at its full capacity until we are paid to do it, giving us the time we need to put into it."
What: Pickle Pot Be-In 2022
Where: Tilley Road Reserve, Paekākāriki
When: Saturday, January 8, 4pm-late
More info: email firstname.lastname@example.org