Raggamuffin moves to Auckland
The decision to move Rotorua's Raggamuffin music festival to Auckland came as a surprise to reggae fans and the city's mayor.
Mayor Steve Chadwick said the festival still had one year left on its five-year contract, and the district council learnt of the announcement today when the festival released its lineup.
"We were aware there were possibilities of it moving in the future as sales weren't doing well, but we weren't aware it had been moved," she said.
"They had a five-year contract with the Rotorua District Council, so if they've moved to Auckland, we have some outstanding contract issues to deal with."
Chadwick said the issues were commercially sensitive.
She said the community response had been one of sadness.
"Lots of locals loved it," she said.
"It wasn't just Aucklanders there as I have seen previous reports say."
Festival promoter Andrew McManus said: "We've given Rotorua a good go. We're delighted to be bringing Raggamuffin to Auckland and we hope our fans will continue to support the event, and we will be encouraging new fans to come along."
Raggamuffin in Auckland would be presented in partnership with Dawn Raid Entertainment.
"Dawn Raid is an established and well-known brand in New Zealand who have produced some of the best hip-hop acts in the country," McManus said.
Raggamuffin has been held since 2008, injecting millions of dollars into local economy and featuring artists like Shaggy, Sean Paul and Ziggy Marley.
This year's headline acts include UB40 and hip-hop star Ice Cube. Other artists performing are Fiji, Jamaica's Etana and Chronixx and England's Gappy Ranks who will be playing a set with P Money.
These acts will be joined by Kiwi artists, including Katchafire, Aaradhna, House of Shem and Tomorrow People.
Formerly a two-day event, the festival will now be a one-day affair on December 13 and this year will feature two stages.