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Pasifika Festival biggest and best yet

Pasifika Festival biggest and best yet

Pasifika Festival showday has smashed last year’s attendance record, attracting a total crowd of 170,000 to Western Springs stadium and lakeside today.

The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Helen Clark, arrived at midday to check out the stalls before rubbing shoulders with the very best of New Zealand hip-hop, including Scribe, and Mareko and the Deceptikonz. She was effusive in her praise of the event when she spoke to the crowd at the Air New Zealand Contemporary Stage. Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Don Brash, also took the time to attend the event.

Other highlights of the day included reggae maestros Katchafire and a mesmerising Cook Island drumming and dance extravaganza from Pacific Tamure.

The Opening Concert on Friday night kicked off the weekend’s festivities, boasting a star-studded line up including Kiwi pop princess Brooke Fraser, Australian Idol star Paulini, opera diva Daphne Collins, Lion King star Vince Harder, and the Malaga choir. They were joined by firedancers and a variety of other performers who wowed the 8,000 strong crowd.

Auckland City project manager Mere Lomaloma Elliott says: “We are thrilled with the turnout – every year the festival just gets bigger and better. It’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves.”

Tomorrow’s ‘Voices of the Future’ convert, from 2pm to 4pm, will signal the close of the festival. The concert features New Zealand Idol contestant Lemuel, Sara-Jane Auva’a and Urban Praise among others.

The Pasifika Festival 2004 is a Free Summer event produced by Auckland City. Auckland City thanks its sponsors Air New Zealand (Contemporary Stage), New Zealand Post and Western Union (Cultural Stage), Community Employment Group (Performing Arts Stage), APRA (self-titled stage), Radio 531pi (Children’s Stage), Palm Corned Beef and McCallum Industries Limited, Tip Top, and Creative New Zealand.

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