O-Taiko at the Regent for the Dunedin Night Shelter

by Insiders Dunedin

A few years ago, I was looking for something for my then 9 year old daughter and her wee pal to do during the school holidays. A google search for 'what's on Dunedin' led me to the O-Taiko group. These crazily enthusiastic guys are a Japanese-inspired drumming group, working out of the University of Otago. It's a community based group with folks of all ages and all walks of life. My daughter loved the kid's classes - Ko-Taiko (little big drum!). Now she is part of the adult group and our house hasn't been peaceful for years. I couldn't be happier. The O-Taiko group really area family - a caring, proactive and very, very, very loud family. 

A few weeks ago now, a friend talked to me about the respect he had for the guys who ran the Dunedin Night Shelter. We chatted about how it must be hard to fund raise is your are a charities that doesn't have fluffy kittens or floppy eared puppies as their public faces. Right, I thought, let's do something to support this vital service. Let's make some noise for them.

The O-Taiko group were immediately on board and the idea of a 24 hour, sponsored drumming marathon was born. At first, this was to take place in the practice room, or someone's garage, asking friends and family to donate to the Night Shelter if we managed to play at least 3 drums (and sometimes all the drums) without stopping for 24 hours. Of course, we also were hoping they would bring the odd cheese and ham toastie or lolly cake at 3am to keep the drummers drumming. Then we had the idea of getting the public involved. May be other folks would like to watch, listen or join in? This probably wasn't a real possibility in my sleep out, so we asked the Regent Theatre. 

I never, ever thought they'd say 'yes'.

They said yes. I was delighted and horrified! The original idea of 10 or 20 drummers playing in their jarmies with a sandwich in one hand was out the window, and now we have this fantastic event coming up. The Regent have been incredible - it's impossible to thank them enough. The local schools and local businesses I have contacted so far have been wonderful, always offering more than I have nervously asked for. I have cried smiling tears on several occasions just from a feeling of happy, happy, joy, joy - good people doing kind things for the benefit of strangers. 

I am running around town, making phone calls, sending emails with very little previous experience of how to event manage or how to promote or obtain sponsorship! I'm simply asking, and always hoping for a yes. I'm very conscious that this is an unconventional approach to organising an event, but ours is an unconventional city, and at every turn, folks are offering help, support, donations and advice. The generosity of this city is unbelievable. 

Without being too heavy or too mushy, these are undoubtedly most peculiar times that we live in - times of great change and no small amounts of unrest around the world. Being involved in DRUMedin has given me so many reasons to feel positive about the strength of communities and the kindness of individuals. I love this place.

So now we are ready to let people know about out event, and how they can take part, and this is it...

On Saturday the 21st January 2017, the Regent Theatre will be host to O-Taiko, a Japanese inspired drumming group, who will be drumming, constantly, for 24 hours to raise funds and awareness for the Dunedin Night Shelter. We are dragging the media and local sports personalities along, and including as many community groups and individuals as we can reach to make this a super feel good occasion.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? The Night Shelter is a vital resource in our community, helping others who need a hand when times are tough. You can support them with kindness and donations all year 'round, but for the weekend of January the 21st there are many things you can do:

ENJOY THE SHOW - Come along to the Regent Theatre to enjoy energetic performance pieces throughout Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The theatre is open to the public on Saturday 21st from noon until 7pm, and again on Sunday 22nd from 7am until noon. We'd love a gold coin donation, (or more!) for entry, but no pressure - give what you feel is right. Just your being there says so much. 

JOIN IN - Play on stage with the group. There will be drums set up for you to play along. Koha appreciated. 

GET SPONSORED - We have drums available for younger folks (aged 10-100) to attempt their own fundraiser for the Night Shelter. Why not get friends and family to sponsor you for a 1hr continuous drum? Come along to an Otaiko Sunday practice - we'll get you ready and give you all the support you need. 

Please contact us through the Q&A page of our event website. 

MAKE A DONATION* - Every single dollar counts.

If your business or employers would like make a chunky donation, get in touch, so we can show our thanks at the event, offer your business some promotion in return and let the Night Shelter see who its friends are.

See our webpage for more information, to see who is already on-board or to make a donation.

but more than anything, please, spread the word. This is about Dunedin being there for Dunedin. 


Post submitted by Laura Cope


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