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Grey Lynn festival celebrates 25 years

Published: 7:26PM Saturday November 28, 2009 Source: ONE News

A festival which started out as a Grey Lynn neighbourhood get together is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend.

Hundreds of thousands have turned out during the past quarter of a century to take part in the Auckland summer celebration.

Twenty-five years have whizzed by and the early days are now a blur for those like festival organiser Junior Toko.

"It was just a few house trucks and a few stalls and a wee mini stage and real grass roots," says Toko.

Junior is one of the originals having first come to the first festival when he was 14.

"It was all based on the community local people coming together and just celebrating not only being a community but also celebrating life," he says.

He has been coming back ever since and is now a key organiser and MC.

The Grey Lynn festival has always flown the flag for its working class and Polynesian roots and now middle class urban dwellers have moved in and embraced the concept too.

Music has always been a big feature. It is a chance for the kids to join in and give something new a whirl, for grown up's to let their hair down and for local acts to impress a bigger audience.

But as a birthday bash surprise some big acts turned up to impress the locals.

The colour and sounds are still pulling people in with 80,000 sets of feet expected through the gates this year meaning there is no sign its popularity is sliding.