Newtown Festival director Martin Hanley plays favourites

From Saturday Morning, 11:05 am on 8 February 2020

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Martin Hanley

Martin Hanley Photo: supplied


Wellington's annual Newtown Festival is the biggest free music party and street fair in the country, attracting 80,000 people to the lively and diverse suburb every year.

They go there to sample 185 live performances (including some of the biggest names in New Zealand music...and acts you'll never have heard of) and to mooch about and munch at 445 stalls.

Trying to impose order on this potential chaos, and to wrangle nearly 500 staff (more than half of whom are volunteers) and over 700 performers, is Festival Director Martin Hanley.

An architect by trade, he now devotes a large part of his working year to running the festival. And he's been there from the outset, when it was a far more modest affair held at a nearby park, before it graduated to the wider suburb in 1997.


Martin shared some songs that were hits at previous festivals as well as some personal picks:

Song: Once in a Lifetime
Artist:Talking Heads

Song: Present Tense
Artist: Pearl Jam: 

Song: E Tu 
Artist: Upper Hutt Posse

Song: Far Away 
Artist: Mel Parsons

Song: Olympic Girls
Artist: Tiny Ruins

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