Monday 30 January 2012


Auckland Anniversary Day today and the harbour was full of 10,000 yachts in and watching the Regatta, while the waterfront was full of people - at the funfair, the seafood festival, the Laneway indie music festival, and the Buskers' Festival, not to mention all the bars and cafes. We were there for the buskers, an annual treat when some of them come up north after attending the World Buskers Festival in Christchurch. It's the 19th year there - 10 days, 55 artists from all over the world - and this year not of course in the usual sites of Cathedral Square, the Arts Centre and various city streets, since they're all in the Red Zone still and fenced off, but in Hagley Park, where it evidently all went well and delivered some much-needed summer cheer to the city.

We were in ChCh for the festival once and it was a blast, especially the part where I ended up on the shoulders of a guy on a unicycle - but it's pretty good here in Auckland too, over the long weekend. Today we saw just three acts. The first was Wally, a non-stop joker (literally) of a tall Australian whose finale is balancing on top of a ladder, after two audience members let go of it. One of them was Max who, deliberately or not - who knows? - had dressed in an eye-catching ensemble of red Cleveland basketball (?) singlet, rather skimpy blue shorts and highly distinctive lime-green shoes. There was no way the performers were going to overlook him, and when we moved on to the next one, another Aussie called Mickey J who danced and mimed much more entertainingly than you might expect from that description (and got a lot of mileage out of Michael J), Max was again selected from the audience for some participation.
He was there in the crowd at our last performance too, but this time - I hope his feelings weren't hurt - he was passed over. The artist was Victor Rubilar, an Argentinian football juggler and holder of not one but four Guinness world records, of which perhaps the most impressive is "the longest distance travelled while balancing a football on the forehead" (278m) - though "the most rolls of a football from temple to temple" (67) for me came a close second in esoteric skills. He was far too Latino to be much bothered with the men in the audience - but, give him his due, he spends hours sunbathing in a bikini top at the beach all for the sake of a 10-second visual joke. Now there's a man dedicated to his craft.

1 comment:

Victoria Attractions said...

This looks like so much fun, and I can't help but be jealous of all those people laughing in the sun, wearing short sleeves and shorts while I'm huddling in front of my computer, looking at the mountains of snow outside. Sigh.


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