Roaring Trade Sets Hobbit Market Abuzz

27 November 2012

Wellington's Hobbit Artisan Market has been a huge success so far, with an estimated 15,000 fans flocking to Waitangi Park to snap up Hobbit-related artisan crafts and view demonstrations of the magic behind the movie.

At least 5000 people were estimated to have attended on Saturday, and Sunday's crowd doubled that with 10,000 strolling through.

The market has been designed by Wellington City Council in partnership with businesses from the local creative industries, featuring local artists who have worked on The Hobbit Films.

The weekend's programme included prosthetic demonstrations, competitions and Hobbit-themed New Zealand food. Stalls will continue to run from 12 noon to 6pm through Wednesday.

Each of the three films in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy are playing on a big screen in the market from 6-9pm, beginning with last night's screening of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), tonight's The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003) concluding tomorrow evening before Wednesday's world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who saw a prosthetics demonstration yesterday, said the market has been really successful so far.

"The market has succeeded in sharing the Hobbit buzz and giving people a unique experience in the lead-up to Wednesday's premiere," she said. "It was a delight to see so many children get into the spirit by giving their best Gollum impersonations.

"Feedback from the artists has been really positive, with nearly all of the stalls making back the money they paid in stall fees in the first few hours. Many of the artists are having to make more of their wares like jewellery because they're selling out by end of the day.

"The food stalls are doing a roaring trade with long lines of people waiting for food. The weather has played a big part with it being fine all weekend, and the forecast is looking good all the way through to Wednesday's premiere.

"Last night's screening of The Fellowship of the Ring had around 1500 people, and there's two more nights to see the final two films of that trilogy before we get set for Wednesday's premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."