gONzo journalist ANNABEL WILSON bedazzled her BMX with fairy lights, glo sticks and a luminous orange rabbit for Lucid Dream’s Bike Carnival of Lights and Motion in Wellington.
I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date… It’s 6:50 on a still winter’s evening. Hooning around Wellington’s CBD on a BMX I bought for 10 bucks from Trash Palace, I’m anxious I might miss the 7pm departure of Lucid Dream’s Festival of Lights and Motion. Bespoke glow stick spokes spinning, I zip over a zebra crossing, feeling like the White Rabbit in Wonderland. I dial up my friend (NZ Fringe Festival director) Hannah Clarke with a free hand and she tells me to head for the lights. Scooting past Te Papa, I see a cluster of phosphorescence beyond the marina. I’m on target. I point my compass towards the festivities and skid to a stop amid the gathering of revellers.
Looking around, I soon realise there’s no need to pump the pedals like I’m Elliot being pursued by police in ET. Lucid Dream’s creative vision is one of slow-paced, blissful merriment. Of taking time to be in the moment – and what a magnificent moment in time they’ve made happen tonight. Kids on trikes join the ranks of bicycle floats: all festooned with all manner of lights. And there’s another unifying glow to our group – in the beaming smiles of the project instigators, participants, witnesses.
We’re reminded to go slow as we line up. With a tinkle of bells, a squeak of tyres and the boom of the marching band, we tootle off on a lyrical journey along the capital’s waterfront. Sometimes I’m near the start, just behind the band. Other times I hang back, following an amethyst-hued tuatara, the House of Love, a luscious luminous cloud, fleet of jellyfish, giant dragonfly, bike-away bride and a giant mechanical stork. A lot of times I weave about, around street features and shimmying off course just for fun. This seems to be one of the evening’s themes. At Taranaki Wharf, the collective are inspired to lap around and around the gap that houses the diving platform in summer until we create a kind of vortex of vibrance. This is how the Carnival of Lights and Motion rolls. The parade is not about straight lines; the best way from Point A to Point B; logical thought. Instead, the atmosphere is one of sumptuous surrealism, where everything is possible.
Onlookers, filming on their phones or just simply entranced kept asking, ‘What is this for? What is this all about?’ The best answer is, it’s a dream. In the wake of horrendous events in Nice and Baton Rouge, tonight feels like an antidote to these acts of violence and hate. It’s a peaceful, tolerant, open celebration, just because.
Curated by the Lucid Dream Bike team: a collaboration between Bicycle Junction, Erika Grant, Dan Mikkelson, Kelvin Aris, Gerard Crewdson and Stephen Templer – along with a flurry of artists, performers and musicians, the event is the pinnacle in a week which saw the Bicycle Laboratory hunker down on the waterfront, inviting businesses, school groups, holiday programmes and collaborators of all ages to get involved in the building of seven bike floats. Then anyone who felt the urge could join the excursion on Saturday night.
The sense of community continued as hens’ parties, students, ballgoers, businesspeople, parents out with their kids, couples, punks and lone rangers on Saturday night missions all stopped to stare at the spectacle drifting by. At TSB Arena, our destination, we circled again – the victory laps of a happy crew. The band struck up “When The Saints Go Marching In”. Everyone grinned. It was a cool ride. Not one helluva ride… more like a heavenly ride.
Click ON the link below to see Mark Hill’s video of the event.
- Annabel Wilson
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