I'm a writer blogger who has been resident in the Hutt Valley since the late 1960's. I'm a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I have seen many people come and go over the years, seen many things good and bad. Time to remember life...
One of the most anticipated events of the pre-New Years peri
R & V is a three-day international festival that is held in Gisborne, New Zealand, annually on December 29-31 of each year. It is described and advertised as the first festival in the world to welcome in the first sunrise of each New Year. It is now a much-anticipated event just before New Years.
The festival was actually founded back in 2003, by University of Otago friends, Hamish Pinkham, Tom Gibson and Andrew Witters. It was their desire to hold an event for their university friends to celebrate the New Year in a safe and beautiful location where they would be entertained by up-and-coming and established New Zealand musicians.
The festival has always been held at the Waiohika Estate, originally the Witters family home, but is now run as a full-time event centre by the Rhythm group. They could not have found a more beautiful location for their annual event.
In the very beginning, the first festival had one performance stage, featuring headliners "The Black Seeds", and was attended by just 1800 guests. In 2004, a second stage was added and 5500 people attended with Salmonella Dub as the headline act. The following year featured Fat Freddy's Drop and a new Rhythm stage was opened up on site.
By 2006 the festival had four stages featuring the festival's first overseas headliner, Mylo, with Young Pony headlining in 2007, entertaining a crowd of 15,000 people. As somebody once said, little acorns can grow into mighty oaks. In 2008, it had expanded to a three-day event, which allowed the organisers to contract bands on the international circuit. This was the main factor in making the 2008-2009 festival the strongest yet with many renowned international acts on the bill, including Franz Ferdinand and Care Cox.
In 2014, in a bold move, Rhythm and Vines introduced Arcadia Spectacular giving the R&V audience a taste of Glastonbury's fire-breathing stage. In 2015, motorcross riders were jumping across the main Vines stage, while the introduction of comedy via Giggle and Vines had people in stitches at the Old Mout Cider Shack.
While continuing to do what Rhythm and Vines does best, that is bringing to Gisborne some of the world's best live acts, Rhythm also continues to innovate in the complete, overall festival experience. It has been reported that 11% of all ticket sales are from an international audience and the festival continues to evolve and attract new audiences globally. It can only get bigger and better. Young fans throughout the North Island of New Zealand and many from down in the South Island as well have marked the date in late 2017 as the place to go to Gisborne, a fantastic locate at this time of year anyway.
Accommodation for the festival will mostly be provided by BW Summer festivals, a seven-day camping festival that has featured bands such as Flume Kora and State of Mind.