Events set to rock coast

HIGH NOTES: Concerts will bring thousands of music lovers to Matakana and other venues this summer.
HIGH NOTES: Concerts will bring thousands of music lovers to Matakana and other venues this summer.

Thousands of people will pour into the area during the next two months.

A huge number of events are planned in Rodney and on the Hibiscus Coast, covering a wide range of activities.

New Year starts with the 54th Warkworth Rodeo on January 1 at the Warkworth Showgrounds from 10am, featuring 170 competitors.

Scottish tradition abounds at the Waipu Caledonian Society Highland Games on January 1, at Caledonian Park, from 8.30am.

Hot rod fans have a feast of action, starting with The Black Swamp Rod Run at Mangawhai on January 4.

That's followed by the Woodstock 20th National Classic Car and Hot Rod Festival at the Kumeu Showgrounds on January 18 and 19, expected to attract about 40,000 people.

About 200 American muscle cars and pre-1985 vehicles will line Orewa's beach front for the Hibiscus Rodders Beach Festival on January 24 to 26. Proceeds go to the Westpac rescue helicopter.

Concerts are prominent with a lineup of international artists at the Matakana Country Park Summer Concert on February 9 from 11am. They include 10cc, Starship's first New Zealand visit featuring Mickey Thomas, and rock royalty Lynyrd Skynyrd. Concert organisers aim to deliver an improved concertgoer experience every year after featuring Pat Benatar, Bachman & Turner, and America last February.

More than 4000 tickets have already been sold, with only limited numbers of specially priced local tickets still available.

"While we work hard to bring the best of international classic rock to the picturesque Matakana region, and believe that we offer exceptional value for money, it's also very important to us that we deliver a fantastic overall concert experience for everyone," promoters Greenstone Entertainment chief executive Amanda Calvert says.

Some of the improvements for 2014 include a bigger production set up, including a larger stage, a big screen for improved viewing, and an area set aside for those wishing to use umbrellas for shade. Concertgoers can bring along their own food and non-alcoholic beverages, and there will be free water. Children under 14 will also receive free entry. Traffic management and parking have been enhanced, and a free bus service operates from Warkworth and Omaha with buses also available from Britomart, Albany or Orewa for $30 return.

Snells Beach musician Lou Lou opens the show. Many other musicians play at various venues throughout the next two months. It starts with Kora's Hit the Wall single release at the Mangawhai Tavern on January 3, 7pm, and the Anvil Project Brutal Beach Tour the same day featuring Alien Weaponry, Ourselves Alone and Jackal, at the Matakana Hall from 7pm.

The Auckland Folk Festival brings about 2000 people to the Kumeu Showgrounds from January 24 to 27 for concerts, workshops, dance and children's sessions.

Buskers come to Orewa from January 31 to February 2 for the first Boulevard of Buskers festival.

Music fans are at Matakana on February 1 for the The Classic Hits Winery Tour 2014 at Ascension Wine Estate featuring The Exponents, Stan Walker and Breaks Co-Op.

On February 8, The Warratahs supported by Katie Thompson play at Stanmore Bay Park, 3pm to 5pm, as part of free Auckland Council Music in Parks series, suitable for all ages.

Warkworth hosts the series on February 16, Mister S and the Realistics with The Slacks performing at Lucy Moore Memorial Park, 3pm to 5pm.

The Mansion House Music in the Gardens is at Kawau Island on February 8 from 4pm.

Theatre comes to the vineyard with Shakespeare in the Vines - A Midsummer Night's Dream, at Ascension Wine Estate on January 4 and 5, 7pm to 9.30pm.

Summer shows and carnivals kick in with the annual Woodchopping Carnival, hosted by the Puhoi Axemen's Club, outside the Puhoi Pub and Hotel on January 11 at 9.30am.

On January 25 the Warkworth A&P Lifestyle Show is at the Warkworth Showgrounds with guest compere Te Radar.

The next day it's the Whangateau Country Fair at Whangateau Domain Recreation Reserve, Leigh Rd, 10am to 2pm.

Then on February 22 the Helensville A&P Show is in full swing at the Helensville Showgrounds, 9am to 4.30pm.

More for the kids comes with the Lions Big Dig at Orewa beach on February 8 from 10.30am for prizes.

If sailing's your scene the Mahurangi Regatta attracts hundreds of boats and people on January 25. It leads into the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta on January 27.

Rodney Times