Kate Bush fans scale new heights

South Island Kate Bush fans showed off their red dresses and willingness to dance as the singer herself climbs back to the top of the charts.

The internationally celebrated annual event in Dunedin, The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever, was marked for the fourth time at the Octagon on Saturday.

Participants came from as far away as Nelson, Queenstown and Oamaru to take part.

They dressed in red to re-create the music video for Kate Bush’s 1978 chart-topper hit Wuthering Heights. About 75 people took up the opportunity to dance.

Although Cathy may have been cold, the weather was warm enough for participants to wear their red dresses without worrying about hypothermia.

It comes as Bush returns to the top of the charts with her 1985 song Running Up That Hill, which features prominently in the latest season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Among the dancers was Ling Ansell and her two children, Isla (8) and Rowan (3).

She said Rowan had been very excited for the dance, as he adored Kate Bush and Wuthering Heights was one of his favourite songs.

The family listened to a wide variety of music and her son loved to dress up and dance around, she said.

Organiser Mandy Mayhem-Bullock said the event had continued to grow, with a few more dancers than last year.

Dancing near the front of the crowd on Saturday is Rowan Ansell (3) for The Most Wuthering...
Dancing near the front of the crowd on Saturday is Rowan Ansell (3) for The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever event in the Octagon, Dunedin. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
There was a wide range of people, from pre-schoolers to a 75-year-old who enthusiastically joined in.

Mrs Mayhem-Bullock admitted it was quite an elaborate dance and she herself could not pull off all the moves, but getting it right did not matter, she said.

Performers were given a rundown of the dance moves and a few practice rounds before the final show at noon.

The official performance was sung by Dunedin singer Adelaide Cara.

The event also served as a fundraiser for Wellness, Empathy, Kindness Aotearoa (Weka) and about $800 was raised.

Before the final dance kicked off, Mrs Mayhem-Bullock encouraged those struggling with mental health to reach out to anyone, be it a family member, a friend or even her.

Dunedin could be a cold, gloomy and depressing place, but the day was all about wearing vibrant red and having some fun, she said.

It was the fourth time the event had been held and this year it landed on the day of Kate Bush’s 64th birthday.




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