The inaugural Whanganui Walls street art festival last year proved such a success that the 2020 event has expanded to include a day-long music festival in the heart of the CBD.
While artists create murals on sites across the city, an eclectic line-up of Kiwi musicians is set to perform on the sound-shell stage at Majestic Square.
Kicking off at noon on Saturday, March 21, the festival features reformed Kiwi icons Pluto, dub/psych/soul seven-piece Dr Reknaw, and fellow Wellington experimentalists, Orchestra of Spheres. Other acts include Dartz, Linen and Hyperculte, with local acts Licks and Damn Raucous Brass rounding out the line-up.
Festival organisers Jack Mitchell-Anyon and Anthonie Tonnon (who will also be performing) are thrilled with the artists they've managed to book for the event.
"We both have a bunch of experience putting on gigs and booking bands, so the organisers of the art festival came to us for help," Tonnon said.
"We're big fans of Orchestra of Spheres, and they've played in Whanganui quite a bit, so they were the first band we approached to play. They have such a kaleidoscope of sound, and we kind of based the rest of the line-up on that same mood board. You want a bit of a journey."
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Mitchell-Anyon said finding the right balance of acts is very important.
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"We've tried to cover all the bases, and make sure everyone's happy throughout the day."
After reforming and releasing a new record at the end of last year, Auckland pop rock legends Pluto will return to Whanganui for the first time in well over a decade. Drummer Michael Franklin-Browne grew up in the city, and their early slot of 3pm is likely to see Majestic Square full to capacity.
"I feel like Majestic Square is a bit of an under-used resource," Tonnon said.
"We're really happy to be able to use the space for something like this. The whole idea for the art side of the festival is taking something a little bit sterile and repurposing it. We're aiming for the same kind of feel."
Creative NZ has provided sponsorship, and entrance to the festival is free. After the bands have wrapped up, local DJs will play late into the night at neighbouring Frank Bar. Entrance for this is strictly R18.
For the full line-up and schedule details, go to www.eventfinda.co.nz/2020/whanganui-walls-of-sound-festival/whanganui