Need to know
The best part of this week-long festival is watching some of the world’s top street artists painting dozens of walls of Kaka’ako from morning to sunset, turning the streets into a public art gallery. It’s incredible to see them come to life. The artwork stays up until the following year’s event.
It usually kicks off with a big block party, with music and food trucks. There are tons of special events daily, including concerts, talks, and workshops. Also some sort of big closing party to wrap things up at the end.
Launched in 2010, Pow! Wow! has become a global festival, taking place in Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Thailand and so on. But Oahu is considered the flagship spot.
There was no festival in 2021. We’ll see if it makes a comeback in 2022.
Annually during Valentine's Day week
Throughout the district of Kaka’ako. All the murals are within walking distance of SALT at our Kaka’ako so that’s a great place to start.
Most of the festival is free, with the exception of some concerts.
Within Kaka’ako you’ll find…
SALT at Our Kaka’ako
Aloha Beer Company
Hana Koa Brewing Co
Street artists from around the world converge to paint murals throughout Kaka’ako, right before your eyes. Daily events, concerts, block parties, and workshops.
Pow! Wow! Hawaii
FESTIVAL | STREET ART
Good to know
Comfortable walking shoes.
TIPS + TRICKS
Parking is tough in Kaka’ako so you may want to Uber or Lyft over there.
SALT at our Kaka’ako is a good place to start because all the murals are within walking distance. All of the murals are within a 2 mile radius.
If you head to Pokuhaina St. and Cooke St. you'll find long walls of murals.
Restrooms are located at Salt at Our Kaka‘ako. Visit a coffee shop or restaurant to get the code for the door.
Check out their list and interactive map to find murals that are on display and info about the artists for your own walking tour.
While in Kaka’ako, get a photo in front of the huge mural that reads “You’re entering a judgement-free selfie zone.”
Checkout this Honolulu Magazine article if you want to see what Pow! Wow! has looked like throughout the years.
DID YOU KNOW?
The first Pow! Wow! took place in Hong Kong in an abandoned restaurant with white walls. Artists from Taiwan, London, and France repainted the walls over a week’s time and at the end, Jasper Wong, the founder, repainted the walls white. In a way it was saying that this was all about the love of creation and that it’s meant to be just for fun. Now the murals stay up for a year or two, but they’re still not permanent.
Pow! Wow! Is held in locations around the world — Japan, DC, Guam, New Zealand, Jamaica, Singapore, Israel, Taiwan, Thailand, Italy and so on. But the festival in Oahu is the longest running and considered the flagship event.
Pow! Wow! has a double meaning. Pow wow references Native Americans and the idea of coming together as a tribe. Pow! Is the classic pop art of comics which explodes right in front of you.
This event costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce, but the bulk of expenses are covered by donations. In the past, Hawaiian Airlines has given the artists free flights, The Modern Honolulu Hotel gave them a place to stay, a local hardware store called City Mill gets paints and brushes together. Many of the artists pitch in to buy paint and supplies too.
Last Updated 5 / 3 / 21
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