The first act of Wellington's Easter metal festival has arrived - and it prefers playing with fire to music.
View video: Making a metal monster
A gigantic smoke-belching dragon made by the award-winning Weta Workshop will stand in the middle of Westpac Stadium for the Rock 2 Wgtn festival.
Rockers including Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Alice Cooper and Lordi will stare straight at the beast while they cut loose on stage.
The dragon - dubbed Drusilla after a Roman goddess - stands more than six metres tall with a 16-metre wingspan, and will be held another 12 metres in the air by two scissor-lifts.
Weta Workshop head Richard Taylor said the foam-fabricated dragon was a testament to event promoter Phil Sprey, who helped come up with the idea.
"Phil needn't have done this. People would come to see bands like Kiss anyway, but it really gives the audience something else."
Weta had never done anything similar for a rock concert before, Mr Taylor said.
Workshop supervisor Gareth McGhie said the dragon's neck included sprung-loaded carbon-fibre rods so it could move around easily.
Smoke would issue from the mouth, providing a good backdrop for lasers that would shoot from the dragon's eyes.
Mr Sprey pronounced himself delighted with the dragon, which was all about creating an "event" rather than a concert.
Other entertainment between the bands would include zombie cheerleaders, stunt teams and giant guitars affixed to the main stage, while the bands would also have their own special effects.
About 32,000 tickets have so far been sold to the March 22-23 event.
- The Dominion Post
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