Coro festival worth gold - promoters

10,000 people trek to Whitianga coastline

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 11:48 02/01/2013

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There's one question the directors of the Coromandel Gold music festival ask themselves each year - would I buy a ticket to this event?

So far, their answer has always been yes.

And this year, 10,000 other people agreed, trekking to a farm on the Whitianga coastline, and forking out up to $170 for the fourth instalment of the New Year's festival.

It's a similar number to previous years.

Waving arms, dancing feet and smiling faces filled the natural amphitheatre on New Year's Eve - a scene that event directors Mark Wright and Peter Campbell say gives them a real buzz.

"If you see 10,000 people jumping up and down at the same time having a great time, then obviously you can't not look at that and take some satisfaction out of that," Mr Wright said.

"But, it's the sum of all the parts. That wouldn't exist without all the crew that are here working and, obviously, without the acts drawing the people and doing their thing."

On New Year's Eve, United States hip hop trio De La Soul - who are all aged in their 40s - proved that they still have the energy to work a crowd into an arm-bopping frenzy.

And Australian electronic band Cut Copy delivered a rave-like vibe as darkness set in and strobe lights flickered.

Some partygoers drank too much alcohol, others took recreational drugs, but Mr Campbell said the crowd was "incredibly well-behaved".

"There was close to zero trouble and I think very few, if any, arrests. The atmosphere within the event was really positive."

It was likely aided by the "zero-tolerance" approach police had for breaches of the liquor ban by people walking to the festival.

A number were arrested before they even got in the gate.

Mr Wright and Mr Campbell said they try to tweak and improve the festival each year, but stick to "core principles", the key one being: "Trying to put an event together and structure something that you'd be happy enough to buy a ticket and go along yourself," Mr Campbell said.

"I don't judge what we do relative to anyone else and what they do over New Year's," Mr Wright said. "For me it's about delivering something that, if I was there, it's what I would want."

The pair have been warned by industry stalwarts that year four and five are do or die for music festivals.

"Your honeymoon period is over," Mr Campbell said.

But they are already planning their event for 12 months' time.

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- Waikato Times

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