Embassy Update & Hobbit Market

13 November 2012

Waitangi Park will be overrun with hairy feet when it transforms into a Hobbit Artisan Market in the lead-up to the premiere of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'.

An artist's impression of the gateway to The Hobbit Artisan Market

An artist's impression of the gateway to The Hobbit Artisan Market

With Wellington renamed as the 'Middle of Middle-earth' for the week, The Hobbit Artisan Market will be our Shire, full of all things Middle-earth from Saturday 24 November until the end of the premiere on Wednesday 28 November.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the market is a brilliant part of the lead-up to the worldwide premiere.

"With the amount of international media and visitors here in the days surrounding the premiere, the market will showcase the work of many extraordinarily talented crafts people from our city."

The free and family-focused market has been designed by us in partnership with businesses from the local creative industries. It will also feature local artists who have worked on the movies.

"We're very lucky to live and work with an incredibly talented and diverse range of artists and craftspeople here in Wellington," says Matt Dravitzki of Wingnut Films.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for these artisans to showcase their work, beyond what the world is about to see on the screen."

There will be prosthetic demonstrations, competitions and hobbit-themed New Zealand food. Stalls will run from 12 noon to 6pm daily, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy will be on the big screen at the market from Sunday until Tuesday. Screenings will take place from 6 - 9pm.

From glass blowers to leather workers, jewellers to sculptors, 30 artists will display and sell their work at the five-day market.

The Council's Events Portfolio Leader, Councillor John Morrison, says there will also be plenty of activities to entertain kids and big kids alike.

"The market is definitely a family-focused event with lots of free entertainment. Over the five days, there'll be prosthetics demonstrations like how to look like an orc, competitions - including best-dressed Hobbit and apple bobbing - and, of course, on the day of the premiere, there'll be a free live screening of red carpet activities for those who want a more spacious view of the action."

The market will operate from 12 noon to 6pm daily. Food stalls will remain open during the movies and red carpet screenings.