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Rhythm and Vines  

Rhythm and Vines

Rhythm and Vines is a record breaking three day international festival which is held very close to the city of Gisborne on the North Island. It occurs every year between the 29th and the 31st of December as a celebration to end off the year and also to be the first music festival in the world to witness the first sunrise of the year, and as the East Cape experiences some of the warmest and most stable weather in all of New Zealand, there are very high chances of seeing the sunrise in the middle of summer. This year it will be at Waiohika Estate, Gisborne, NZ | 28-31 December 2018

in 2010 the festival was awarded the Best Event at the New Zealand Tourism Awards, and has since been growing in popularity and size with new extensions and ideas being introduced almost every year. It has gained a lot of international recognition as the website reports that 11% of all their ticket sales are for an international audience and from people travelling from abroad to attend.
The festival started in 2003 as a small gathering of university students trying to celebrate the New Year. Three friends from the University of Otago - Hamish Pinkham, Tom Gibson and Andrew Witters - started a party on the Waiohika Estate, which was originally Witters' family home, and they set up a stage which wax headlined by The Black Seeds. The event was attended by 1,800 guests. As it was so successful, they decided to do it again in 2004, only they added a second stage and had an attendance of 5,500 people instead. In 2005 they opened a new Rhythm stage arena, and hosted New Zealand's favourite reggae group Fat Freddy's Drop. By 2007, the festival contained four music stages and an attendance of 15,000 people.
As the festival kept growing in size, the organisers decided to extend the event to three days, which helped to obtain overseas recognition from bands taking part in international touring programmes. World renowned acts such as Public Enemy and Franz Ferdinand started attending the festival, allowing it to establish itself further and to keep growing. To date, the festival entertains over 25,000 people every year.
The music on show covers a wide variety of genres and styles. Obviously there is a large focus on home grown talent, and previous talents include New Zealand electronic/indie giants The Naked and Famous who became especially popular with their hit “Young Blood” from their debut album, Fat Freddys Drop who play in an afro-cuban/reggae style, Broods with their dark and dreamy electro-pop, and Six60, who have played multiple times. There is also a lot of acts from New Zealand's neighbour, Australia, as the music of Pendulum and Chet Faker and other popular Australian artists often graces the stages. In more recent years, the festival has seen artists travelling from all over the world to perform, from Zane Lowe from the UK and Major Lazer from America. The line up for the following festival is announced around August every year on the official website (rhythmandvines.co.nz).
As the festival has been growing in size, it has started to introduce new ideas, besides adding more stages and larger artists, to give the festival an identity and to attract a more diverse crowd to the event. Since 2015, the festival has hosted Giggle and Vines, mixing some live stand up comedy into the mix. 2015 also saw some stunt motorcycle riders jumping across the main stage.
Running simultaneously to Rhythm and Vines is the partner festival Rhythm and Alps, held in the Cardrona Valley close to Wanaka and Queenstown on the South Island. This has been running since 2011 and is also growing in popularity, although still has a much smaller capacity and only runs over two days instead of three.
Rhythm and Vines is the biggest and best music festival in New Zealand, and we can only expect it to expand and extend it's horizons in years to come. It is the perfect event to immerse yourself in popular music and festival vibes, while also witnessing up and coming New Zealand artists and learning about the often suppressed New Zealand music scene. Day passes and multi-day camping passes are all available through the official website.

 

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