'Little party' celebrates 10th birthday

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 10:32 28/12/2012

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It all started with a few "scarfies" wanting to throw a party.

Now, 10 years later, Rhythm and Vines is the country's biggest music festival.

Kimbra, Mark Ronson, Chase and Status, Home Brew and Netsky are locked in to play for the 30,000 people attending this year's three-day Gisborne festival from tomorrow.

"No-one could have really expected this in the early years," organiser Hamish Pinkham said.

The idea came about when Pinkham noticed all his Otago University mates heading across the ditch to celebrate New Year's Eve.

So he asked his friends if they would help him organise a Kiwi "gathering".

His flatmate Andrew suggested they host a "couple hundred scarfies" at his family's vineyard in Gisborne.

The group registered themselves as a company, handed out pamphlets at campus and emailed people about their "little party" called Rhythm and Vines.

"It was terrifying but exciting at the same time. I guess we had that kind of naivety and we just threw ourselves into the project and learnt along the way," Pinkham said.

About 1800 turned up to see The Black Seeds for the first concert among the vines at Waiohika Estate.

"Our excitement rubbed off on the guests, the bands and everyone involved who believed in our crazy idea."

Each year it got bigger and bigger, with Kiwi acts such as Fat Freddy's Drop, Hollie Smith and Shapeshifter coming to the party.

Soon Pinkham realised the concert needed to offer more if it was to keep growing so it turned into a three-day affair to attract more international acts.

It's pulled in some big names such as Moby, Franz Ferdinand and Public Enemy and brings millions of dollars into the Gisborne economy each year.

In 2010 Rhythm and Vines took out the Tourism Industry Awards.

"It was recognition from the industry and something to show my grandparents," Pinkham laughed.

PAST PERFORMERS:

Moby, Pendulum, Public Enemy, Calvin Harris, Chasing Status, Tiny Temper, Franz Ferdinand, Empire of the Sun, Shihad, Ladyhawke, John Butler Trio, The Datsuns, Fat Freddy's Drop, Hollie Smith, Shapeshifter, 'The Phoenix Foundation, The Black Seeds

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