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Rhythm and Vines New Years Music Festival

by Vanessa
(Auckland, New Zealand)

Rhythm and Vines New Years Music Festival

Rhythm and Vines New Years Music Festival

Rhythm and Vines New Years Music Festival
Rhythm and Vines New Zealand
Rhythm and Vines Waiohika Estate, Gisborne, East Coast
Waiohika Estate, Gisborne, East Coast

Rhythm and Vines is in New Zealand on the Waiohika Estate, Gisborne, East Coast 29th - 31st December.


This New Zealand festival defo deserves a mention!!

The best festival New Zealand holds. Sun, sand, great people, great tunes... what more could you ask for! There is nothing like a New Zealand summer, you have to come experience it for yourself. Check out this video if you don't believe me

Dreams of Rhythm & Vines from Ben Carter on Vimeo.

A little history on RnV

In the depths of the Dunedin winter of 2003, friends Hamish Pinkham and Tom Gibson asked a group of good friends to join them one Sunday afternoon at the iconic student bar, Gardies.

The purpose of this catch up was more than just an excuse to escape their freezing cold flats to the warmth of their favourite pub. These boys had a question – How were they going to celebrate the coming New Years Eve?

As a number of their friends were about to finish their Otago experience and head off to start their careers or to travel the world, Tom and Hamish had started to discuss how awesome would it be to get everyone in the same place and have one last party together. They wanted to see if their friends shared the same sentiment, fortunately for New Zealand they did.

And Rhythm and Vines was born.

The next question was where to have this party. They didn’t have to look far for the answer, one of Hamish’s flat mates, Andrew Witters, had access to the perfect location – his family vineyard in Gisborne, Waiohika Estate. "Our vision was simple: a beautiful summer’s day, cool music, somewhere for our friend’s let their hair down and meet like-minded people," Mr Pinkham, R&V Director says.

"Initially, selling the idea of a party in Gisborne to our friends was hard due to it’s isolated location as many had never been to the East Coast before and didn’t know what to expect" says Mr Pinkham "but once we got the ball rolling we had convoys of people coming from all directions of the country. Many were camping on friends' lawns and crashing on couches - all on the back of a wild idea by a couple of students!"

With around 1800 people attending Rhythm and Vines the first year, which was headlined by The Black Seeds and featured Mr Pinkham’s own band, Blackbird, it turned out to be much more of a success than the boys had ever imagined so another R&V was planned for the following year.

The second year saw a crowd of around 5,000 people attend with acts such as Salmonella Dub & Cornerstone Roots performing as well as The Black Seeds who returned after enjoying their Gisborne experience so much the first year.

It was at this time that Andrew Witters and another local lad, Toby Burrows started BW campgrounds. "Andrew had the thought that if people coming all the way to Gisborne would want to stay longer than a day, so we started up BW campgrounds," says Mr Burrows. In it’s first year, BW had about 500 people staying at the Churchill Park location.

“It worked really well, so the next year we extended BW down to Watson Park and Awapuni Stadium.” By 2008 BW was accommodating over 12,000 campers and hosting performances by both New Zealand and International Music acts on the days leading up to the Rhythm and Vines festival and in the hours after the gates at R&V close. Despite the success of his first year involved, Toby admits he didn’t see organising events as a career until a few years later.

The third year of Rhythm and Vines, 2005/06, saw the addition of a second stage and the size of the guests double. From here the festival has continued to grow, firstly attracting big name international act MYLO in 06/07 and then moving to a three-day format in 2008/09.

"R&V has grown from toddler into child and now is like a lively teenager so it takes plenty of focus to keep it in check but our original vision remains the same" says Mr Pinkham.

Changing to a three day format allowed the R&V programming team to work with Australian booking partners to attract international acts with the likes of Moby, Public Enemy, Empire of the Sun, The Kooks, Franz Ferdinand and John Butler Trio having all performed at previous Rhythm and Vines.

"Three days works well because it gives the customer more bites of the cherry," says Mr Burrows. "Its a proper international festival model."

"This year sees both R&V and BW festivals evolve even further and we are confident we have a product that is meeting our goals of being both cutting edge and appealing to a mass audience. We are on track for our biggest show to date" say Mr Burrows.

"Even though we have come this far, our original vision remains the same – a safe environment to party with friends and like-minded people while listing to incredible musical talent," says Mr Pinkham.

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