Overview of Lean Means

FESTA’s headline event, Lean Means, brings thousands back into city centre

An estimated crowd of 16,000 people flooded into vacant sites in and around the Christchurch Art Gallery on Saturday 22 October to experience the spectacular temporary city Lean Means, FESTA’s headline event and Christchurch’s brightest display of urban creativity.

This colourful street party, full of energy and lights, kicked off at 5.15pm with a parade of Waste Warriors – children dressed in costumes made from reused goods – accompanied by stilt walkers and musicians.

Music, performance, and activities continued on throughout the night amidst the 18 imaginative installations, designed and fabricated from waste materials.

People danced to DJs next to a six-metre high waterfall made from plastic bags lit up with LED spotlights; they perused food stalls and a market of second-hand and upcycled goods besides a six-metre high glow-worm cave made from food packaging and fairly lights. Frost cloth was repurposed to frame the space of a pop-up restaurant;  craftspeople worked on crafts that were zero waste in village of temporary shelters made from hazel wood; several hundred kilos of carpet core tubes were repurposed into a three dimensional cinematic screen.

These were just some of the installations transforming the city with transformed waste materials. Students from seven leading design and architecture schools from across Australasia, in collaboration with Creative Director Jos de Krieger of Superuse Studios (Netherlands), participated in this large-scale exploration of creative ways to sustainably regenerate our city

This bold, reimagined Christchurch was packed with art too. Movement artist Julia Harvie – suspended from a gantry – created a nest from hazelwood in a 6-hour performance installation work. The Christchurch Art Gallery and CoCA remained open for late night viewings and saw 9100 and 3500 members of the public respectively pass through their doors.

There were a myriad of activities that brought this temporary city to life. Dancing in the street was led by belly dancing group TribalDiva and Mundi African Dance.  The public tried their hand at circus antics with Ebb & Flow, played twister and tug-o-war, and put on UV paint and stretched out to ‘glowga’ with Yoga by Kotte.

FESTA organisers wish to thank all the collaborators, funders and supporters who helped create this collective celebration of a reimagined Christchurch, which was free and open to all,  and the public for supporting this by turning out in droves.

Date: March 28, 2017