Home Music festival The newest Paekākāriki festival is a party that gives power

The newest Paekākāriki festival is a party that gives power


Festival founder Aurelie Bray serves ice cream at Pickle Pot Be-In. Photo / Judah Plester

The Pickle Pot Be-In is back.

Claiming to be one of the youngest festival organizers in the world, Aurélie Bray and Caleb Jack are back for a second year by organizing the eclectic festival on January 8, after a crazy race last year.

Reunited with a group of friends with a bunch of guitars after a day at the beach last year, the friends were having so much fun that the couple decided to make it a festival for everyone to enjoy.

Little did they know there would be hundreds of pages of consent forms, waste management rentals, and meetings galore to secure the rights to host one of Kāpiti’s only outdoor music festivals.

Caleb Jack and Aurelie Bray, organizers of Pickle Pot Be-In.  Photo / Rosalie Willis
Caleb Jack and Aurelie Bray, organizers of Pickle Pot Be-In. Photo / Rosalie Willis

“It was tough, tough, tough before the festival and then the day was just great,” Caleb said.

“The day that happened was a huge high, but the next day it was back to a low as we had to fall back by 500 people, with only a few assists.”

“We were surprised to see how well word of mouth worked,” said Aurélie.

“We had around 500 people throughout the festival, from young families with kids running in the afternoon to a dance party for teens and young adults.

The festival featured music with local bands, an open mic session, and other activities – all free.

“With the mike open, we had in mind the people we would lean on if no one signed up, but there was such a long line of people wanting to do so that we ultimately had to cut it.

Pickle Pot Be-In volunteers and organizers.
Pickle Pot Be-In volunteers and organizers.

“It’s great because it shows that we are creating an atmosphere where people feel super confident and at ease.

“The atmosphere was super cool, there was a real sense of community.”

Now that they know they can organize a successful event, Aurélie and Jack are looking to give the next one a “real personality”.

“The reason we’re doing this is to allow people to share their talents.

“Whether it’s on stage, cooking and preparing food, or taking pictures at the event, there isn’t a big company behind it, we try to encourage all attendees to participate.

“We want people to take the stage or participate in the workshops we’re doing this time around and leave at the end of the night having learned something.”

Volunteers at the information tent.  Photo / Judah Plester
Volunteers at the information tent. Photo / Judah Plester

With 12 acts, a mix of bands, musicians and speakers, poi lessons, food, art and sports, the festival should be bigger and better this time around, while still being free.

“There is so much in the world that you can pay for, and so little that is truly free.

“Summer is a time when there is a lot of exclusion with music festivals and parties.

“Here you don’t have to pay for food, you don’t have to pay anything.

“We believe that the fun and the community should be free.”

With the support of Kaibosh who last provided 100 kg of food, the Salvation Army, Kāpiti Youth Support and Zeal, the festival was run on a budget of just under $ 3,000.

“It would be so much easier to go and buy all of this on AliExpress, but we want to be sustainable and environmentally friendly.

“Upcycling and buying stuff from op stores is definitely a challenge, but it’s rewarding.”

This time, with approximately $ 5,000 in funding from winning the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards and securing funding from the council, they hope to have 1,000 attendees.

From its humble beginnings as a group of school children creating a music festival without substance, all day; To this day, young adults who work and run a large festival, their goal is to transform the festival into a social enterprise so that it can remain sustainable.

“Social enterprise is the end goal, we don’t want to make a lot of money with it, but we want it to be sustainable for us,” Caleb said.

“We both work full time, work on other projects and organize the festival on top of that, which is a lot of work.

“I don’t think we can run Pickle Pot at full capacity until we get paid to do it, which gives us the time we need to put in there.”

The details:

What: Pickle Pot Be-In 2022

Where: Tilley Road Reserve, Paekākāriki

When: Saturday January 8, 4 p.m.-late

Free admission

More info: email [email protected]