I'm an Aucklander. I've not even been to Wellington a handful of times in my life. I don't really watch Rugby, don't follow it in the slightest. Sport in general for that matter is pretty much foreign to me. By societies standards, I'm probably an alcoholic. But I'm not one of 'those' drinkers.
And I just arrived back from the Sevens yesterday.
Hands down THE best event I've attended I think. Love me a good Big Day Out, saw Daft Punk live which was the best concert I've ever been to (big fan)...
But two days in our fair capital at that thing has got me hooked. And there's no possible, conceivable way it could leave Wellington. Auckland, for all it's merits couldn't handle that event in the slightest. It needs to stay there (and it BETTER stay there!)
Hat's off Sevens organizers, Wellington, and all who attended. Amazing event.
I went a couple of years ago - I'm a big believer that sport = fun, and while the sevens isn't really about sport, it is definitely about fun.
I wouldn't want to go every year, being the old man that I am, but you've got to go once - if you like people watching, this is pretty much the Champion's League.
I'm torn about this.
On the one hand, I approve of the chaotic, democratic nature of the thing. Compare with the Cuba St Carnival, a wonderful event, but one where the spectacle is very well organised and the role of the crowd is largely to watch, whereas with the Sevens, the spectacle IS the crowd, doing whatever it wants. I have half a mind to insert some subversive entertainment of my own into it next year -- who could object? It's not like there are any rules or anything. Now that's carnival, Saturnalia even.
On the other hand I had a unpleasant couple of encounters with members of said crowd on Saturday (afternoon, broad daylight) where only the knowledge that it would start a brawl and I would end up pulped stopped me from planting someone who was literally pleading with me to fight him. Which kind of took the edge off my benevolent feelings towards humanity.
I'm completely un-torn.
I cannot believe that either Dunedin or Auckland (or anywhere else in the country for that matter) could possibly imagine they could put on a better show than Welli does for the Sevens. No way. Not possible, never in a million years.
I was with Stephen when he/we got monstered by a couple of very out-of-it smurfs who were obviously a little worse for wear on amyl nitrate - we were Batucada-ing along the waterfront at the time, having done our show at Waitangi Park, on our way to do our stint outside the stadium - but I guess a few munters is going to be par for the course wherever an event like that is held - and the vast majority of be-costumed people were happy, good-humoured, energetic and just plain joyful.
I think what's fascinating about the Wellington Sevens is the sheer scale of the audience participation. Remember no-one ever told Wellingtonians to get dressed up for the event - it's happened naturally over time, instigated by the crowd themselves - and each year more and more people get into the spirit of it.
This year as we were performing on the walkway approaching the stadium I specifically looked out for people not dressed up - and out of the hundreds who walked past us and cheered us and danced with us on their way into the stadium I saw precisely one couple wearing normal clothes. Two people! That's all!
I can understand that the IRB wants other cities to have a chance to pitch for the hosting rights - it's fair enough I suppose - but it surprises me that anyone else thinks they could possibly create the spirit of participation that we have here. It ain't gonna happen.
And if the IRB decided, for example, to give the event to Auckland because they have 20,000 more seats at Eden Park than we have at the Cake Tin, I think they'd be very disappointed in the change in atmosphere, level of participation and general awesomeness of the event. Anyone remember the David Beckham ticket sales in Welli vs Auckland?
(For the record, it was nitrous. That's what's in those little grey cylinders, yes?)
I'm sure if some other bugger had been, er, smurfed and I didn't see it, I wouldn't have any qualms at all. I guess I'm sensitive.
(For the record, it was nitrous. That's what's in those little grey cylinders, yes?)
Yup. Though nitrous should be a quick up/quick down hit, rather than something that would really wazzock someone. It's safe to assume that the demon drink is implicated as well.
if some other bugger had been, er, smurfed
"Smurf you, mother-smurfer! Smurf you!"
First thing that leapt to my mind.
Ooops - FAIL in the drug-recognition stakes! Thanks Stephen!
And I certainly don't think you were being sensitive - I think you were focusing on the task in hand - playing great music well - and were more than a little pissed-off at being not only interrupted but physically threatened - and fair enough too!
All I'm saying is I think there are munters in every city, and that I hope a bad smurf experience in Welli wouldn't put you off wanting Welli to keep the Sevens for evah and evah :)
My next band is going to be called Bad Smurf Experience.
@stephen and @webweaver: your costume for next year
Which one of them's the cat?
(Azrael, named after the angel of death, trivia fans)
Party Zone is Courtenay Pl, it doesn't matter if you're a drunk looking to score or just after a nice martini you go to the same place.
For a "nice martini", can I recommend various far better bars on Cuba St?
For a "drunk looking to score", can I recommend Auckland? Or Courtenay Place, if that's too far.
Never liked rugby, fancy dress or getting trollied so I don't participate in sevens mania, but agree Wellington as a venue just makes sense.
The main point for the fans seems to be partying, and does any other city have a sufficiently large party zone within walking distance of their rugby stadium?
Walking distance after how much drinking?
The walk from Eden Park to K Rd (35 mins for a fit and sober Google Mapper) is about the same as the 31 minutes from the Cake Tin to Courtenay Place. But as people have pointed out before, there are better pubs en route in Wellington, provided you are willing to take the risk of meeting an inebriated MP.
nitrous. That's what's in those little grey cylinders, yes?
But Jim Anderton banned that stuff! Surely the respectable estate agents and farmers who form the 7's crowd aren't taking Illegal High Drugs?
It's actually the NZRU, and not the IRB, that needs to decide which of the 3 bids is successful.
The IRB is reviewing the overall global circuit, but that's different.
Remember no-one ever told Wellingtonians to get dressed up for the event - it's happened naturally over time, instigated by the crowd themselves
Exactly. Totally organic.
You know how the NZRU goes on about the importance of grass-roots? This will be interesting.
I took one look at the Train queue after the 3rd Lions test @ Eden Park and walked into town. It took a long time, and was quite scary sometimes.
I went to the first three 7s in Wellington, and saw how quickly over those few years it stopped being "rugby with a bit of fun" to "fun with a bit of rugby." I haven't been since that third one, when I realised I was spending often the best weekend of summer in an uncomfortable concrete stadium with 35,000 drunk people I didn't really like all that much. (But that's just me, not my sorta fun).
Now I tend to avoid town over the weekend, but I really really don't want to see Wellington lose it. We party so well, we generally cope so well, and for those in the appropiate mindset it's a great thing. Like Toast Martinborough isn't really about the wine the 7s isn't really about the rugby and it's actually become all the better for it.
Unfortunately the possibility that it might move away from Wellington is really inspiring those people to start complaining, to start campaigning. You know, those people, the sort to move into the centre of the city then complain about the Friday night noise or the vomit on their doorstep on 7s weekend, who get all uppity about people who come to 'their neighbourhood' to have fun, when they made a choice to live on Cuba Street because it's so convienient.
Though the 7s no longer interest me; I really don't want to see those people stop the fun most of the city has over the weekend. Lighten up, and if you want quiet move out to the suburbs. Kingston's lovely this time of year!
It wouldn't surprise me if Dunedin put in a competitive bid financially to try and multi-purpose-ise their new stadium.
Even if the date changed (to university orientation), I doubt very much that it would be anywhere near as good. Dunedin would do the drunk well, the dressing up and partying, not so much.
Kyle, Dunedin’s best (only?) hope is that if the IRB changes the World Circuit from being Dec – May to a May – Oct event. And with it becoming more of a summer sport, and the Olympics on the horizon (and likely increased European / Nth America interest as a result) that’s more than a distant possibility.
Then an indoor stadium becomes very attractive.
Yeah. I still don't think it would be a good event down here. Too much 'stupid' drunk, a la keg party/undie 500 etc, as compared to 'good fun party' drunk.