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Humans love celebrating. We live in an age where people flock to Black Rock Desert each August to expand their consciousness and burn a big wooden man. Mexico has a sugar skull and marigold laden Dia de los Muertos, and hell, there’s even a day dedicated to the humble hamburger (May 28). In these parts, however, we have the Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival.
Put simply, the Queenstown Winter Festival is a massive party to welcome in the New Zealand Winter. An offering of frivolous antics and merriment to honour the mountain gods, as such. Revellers flock to the festival events and town bars in the hope that the snow gods will deliver a fat and powdery season.
Believe it or not, the festival has been running for 43 years. First started in 1975 by a ragtag crew of motley mountain folk, the Queenstown Winter Festival has evolved over the last few decades to become a long weekend of music, comedy, mountain parties and bizarre rituals.
Old Mout Dodgeball Champs
Firstly, remember the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge again. Next, assemble a crew of average Joe’s that could take down White Goodman and his Globo-Gym team and get out there. The Old Mout Dodgeball Champs is also a great event to just sit back and watch.
Monteith’s Dog Derby
Open to both farmers and city slickers, Monteith’s Dog Derby is a dog and master snow race. Another one that is as good, if not better, to watch than participate in.
L.A.B., Yoko-Zuna and LORD ECHO
Arguably the biggest gig at Queenstown Winter Festival in 2018, this Spark and Spotify backed party will be a cracker. If you don’t know, L.A.B. delivers a combination of trademark Kora sounds, Adams-Tamatea’s dub bounce, and Shadbolt’s bluesy grooves. They’re backed up by YOKO-ZUNA and a DJ set by LORD ECHO – it’s a guaranteed win.
When: 21-24 June
Where: Various locations around town
words by niall roeder
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