A rare alignment of stars
It's not every day that Benji Marshall, a Rotary Club fair and the music of Pink Floyd share a stage, but the stars have aligned this weekend.
For reasons attributed by one organiser to good luck or a solar eclipse, this Saturday sees Wairarapa host the Martinborough Fair, the Super 15 pre-season clash between the Hurricanes and the Blues in Masterton and a Pink Floyd tribute concert at Stonehenge Aotearoa.
"Instead of working all the weekend in the vineyard and olive grove we'll be partying up large," says Wellington electronics manufacturer David Burger, who with partner Diana Jones, a leadership specialist, is taking a break from chores at their weekender near Masterton to enjoy two parts of the events trifecta.
Mr Burger, a Hurricanes fan, had always loved Pink Floyd, but was not used to enjoying both in one afternoon.
"You don't get much Pink Floyd stuff at rugby matches."
The couple generally found themselves in the garden during their Wairarapa weekends, Ms Jones said. "But not this weekend. We love good music, we love rugby and our [Wairarapa] neighbours are similar," she says.
Tui Brewery is sponsoring the rugby game and spokesman Nick Rogers says it fits well with the events bookending it.
"You've got the fair in the morning, the footy in the afternoon and Pink Floyd in the evening - it's a great trifecta."
The game is close to selling out on the back of Blues coach John Kirwan's confirmation yesterday that star league convert Benji Marshall will take the field.
Buses will take fans from the Tranzit depot around the corner from Masterton's Memorial Stadium directly to the Eclipse band's Pink Floyd tribute concert venue, a full-scale replica of Stonehenge in rolling countryside outside Carterton.
A Tranzit spokeswoman says about 300 fans are booked and many more were busing in from around the region.
Eclipse keyboardist Toby Mills says the show will make full use of its spectacular setting, with the first half coinciding with the sunset, and the rest in darkness to set off the band's signature lighting effects.
"The Tararua Ranges are right behind and it looks out down into the Wairarapa valley . . .
"We'll have enough sound and lighting to play to 30,000, probably, but we've just squashed all that gear into a smaller arena, and 2500 people are going to get blown away."
Event promoter Mark Rogers says the concert is also likely to sell out, and chimed well with the fair and the footy.
"It covers all the bases of what Wairarapa's about - good food, good wine, great music, and sport."
The forecast is promising, and with other events scheduled for the region on Sunday many visitors will make a weekend of it.
The Dominion Post