Illuminate Paint Party 2010 (5th June 2010)

Some 8 weeks ago, Jono and I got us early bird tickets to the Illuminate Paint Party 2010 for $60 each plus the booking fee – it only took 5 minutes for the tickets to sell out on the Dazzle Tickets website (no door sales for this R18 event)! I was sitting in front of the computer, refreshing the page again and again until the ticket sale started at 9am and quickly snapped up two! Subsequently, ticket sales have gone all the way up to $100 – I’m glad we got in first! This was the second year that the Illuminate Paint Party was held in Wellington after a successful launch of the first a year ago. Both Jono and I missed the one last year so decided we had to go this time – put the word out to friends to come join us but no one ended up coming to the party with us :/ Oh well, we’ll have our own fun!

The paint parties will be held in 4 mains centres this year – Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin – with Wellington being the first to host the party. Everyone was expected to wear all white – better canvas for the paint! Even though the paint used in the party was non-toxic and water-soluble, Jono and I still wore our no-longer-loved items and cheap clothes we bought from The Warehouse last weekend for the party, just in case. And I’m bringing my new camera to the party too that I hope will survive the mess! Let’s take some BEFORE photos of us all clean and white!!

Around 10pm, we took a bus over to Lambton Quay to the party at Shed 6, Queens Wharf. Cost us $3 each for the bus ride into town and we had to walk about 2 blocks towards the waterfront from the bus stop to the party. Shed 6 is a large wharf shed often hired out for huge events and functions and tonight, was filled with party-goers, mostly 18-20 year olds (damn, I feel so out of place in the crowd but I don’t care!) dressed in all sorts from mini white dresses to white boiler suits etc. We even found a male bride running through the crowd! Hehe, the events centre management are taking precautions against the paint and had most of its walls covered in white cloth or plastic :P

Jono and I didn’t see anyone we knew at the party so spent the evening partying happily together on our own. Bought some glow sticks for 50 cents per stick and linked them up into chokers for ourselves, then joined in the growing crowd dancing to the live music on stage. Lots of other merchandise was available for sale including white boiler suits and shutter shades, as well as extra bottles of paint. Hmm, might have to pick up some later tonight…hehe…

Gah, I’m getting crushed!! We got squashed and squeezed as we moved towards the front of the stage, Jono shielding me (he was big enough that I could ‘shelter’ myself in his arms and chest – my hero!) as we pushed through the crowd – it felt a bit like we were carried through a Mexican wave, only that I had to grip onto Jono so we wouldn’t split up as we pushed through and tried to avoid getting stomped on the feet by other people. As the night progressed, the crowd was entertained by loud pumping trance and club mixes played by various music DJs, as well as Argentinean circus acrobats showing off their amazing stunts on the Chinese pole and tisu (they were incredibly strong, even for the female performers!). Earplugs definitely required! And the stunning light show and visual displays on stage on the big screens – we’re having so much fun drinking and dancing the night away!

Around 12am, everyone counted down to the official paint-drop. 5…4…3…2…1! The crowd screamed and cheered as bucketfuls of paint were splashed, the Hot Illuminators (event models) squirted the audience with paint from their super long paint pumps and heaps and heaps (really, HEAPS!) of paint from paint bottles thrown out to and by the mass crowd! Jono and I bought a bottle of neon green paint for $5 and were plastering each other with green goo (he even had his initials finger-painted on my dress!), naughtily squirting some in the air so it landed on random people. There was paint of neon yellow, pink, green and orange raining in blotches EVERYWHERE!!! My white dress is no longer white!! Even my new camera is covered with paint!

Tossing our empty paint bottle away, we again headed into the crowd, this time squeezing all the way through to the very front of the stage, dancing to the music in our compact space sardined next to other party people who looked like they’ve had just had a mud bath (we were further back when the paint-drop happened so wasn’t as saturated in a mix of colours). The music was pumping and it was such a good vibe – such a pity the rest of our friends missed out on such a cool event! Definitely recommended you do this at least once just for the experience, even if you’re not a fan of getting messy and very dirty :)

Caught a taxi from Queens Wharf home around 3am. It was quite an amusing sight that the taxis wouldn’t take passengers who just came out of the paint party and we had to convince our driver that the paint on our clothes were dry (I don’t think he was fully convinced but let us hopped in probably because we were sober, unlike the drunk girls who unsuccessfully tried to get into the taxi behind us). Took more photos at home before we peeled off all our coloured items for the wash and a shower before bed. Eee, brown coloured water draining down me…Photos taken tonight:


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