Secret to The Wiggles' success

After about 30 years teaching and entertaining children, The Wiggles are still going strong and are coming back to Christchurch in October.

The much-loved kids' band will perform two shows at Wolfbrook Arena in Christchurch on October 2, and at Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington in September and October.

Red Wiggle Simon Pryce told RNZ First Up's Nathan Rarere that the group has evolved over the decades from the four men who hit the stage in the 1990s.

The Wiggles are now a group of eight, with four men and four women across the age range, with Yellow Wiggle Tsehay Hawkins the youngest at 18 years old and Blue Wiggle Anthony Field the oldest at 60.

When they're on tour, Captain Feathersword usually drives the car, but they let Tsehay be the DJ and chooses the road trip tunes.

The Wiggles will be in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch in September and October....
The Wiggles will be in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch in September and October. Photo: The Wiggles / Facebook
For Tsehay it still feels surreal to be part of the band that she grew up watching.

"It's great. It's the best group ever. I have the best time, full of laughs,.. it's like a family," she said.

"I love going on the road with them and it's been the best. It's been nearly three years now. It's gone very fast."

The Wiggles' longevity means many of their original fans are parents now themselves. And the band love the inter-generational audiences.

"There's nothing better than now seeing these generations of people who have grown up with The Wiggles," Pryce said.

"Parents are now bringing their children and reliving it, and that's why there's that whole nostalgia thing that's kind of happened.

"We've had the OG reunion tours and those kind of things that happened, which were for adults to come along and also relive the experience, so it it is pretty special."

Pryce said over the years it is important to reflect and re-learn the philosophy of The Wiggles, which has always remained the same.

"It's about our audience. It's about early childhood, and the original Wiggles were all early childhood trained and so that philosophy and that ethos has remained the same.

"And hopefully if we marry that with some really catchy tunes that not only the children love, but also the parents, who don't mind listening to them on repeat - that's kind of the key as well. Try not to annoy the parents too much."

It is the audience that keeps them going after so many years.

"Even if you're tired - and we can do up to four shows a day. On that fourth show of a day you're pretty wrecked. But when you get out there and you realise that this is the first time, that this is the first concert that a child has probably gone to, it's their first experience, we have an obligation to give them the best time we possibly can.

"And as soon as we get out there and as soon as you start singing songs, you get that response from the audience. You can't not but love it and enjoy it. The innocence, the beauty of it. Everything about it is just joy, and that keeps you going. That keeps you singing 'fruit salad, yummy yummy' over and over again."