Big names draw small crowd at vineyard tour gig

JAMES GREENLAND
Last updated 07:59 20/02/2013
Missy Higgins
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
INTIMATE STADIUM GIG: People near the front of the stage during Missy Higgins performance at the More FM Summer Vineyard Tour at Trafalgar Park.

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Opshop kicked off their More FM Summer Vineyard Tour set last night with their hit song “Big Energy Little Places”, but before the Kiwi pop rock favourites started it was more like little-energy-in-a-big-place, with a small and unenergetic crowd making Trafalgar Park look relatively big and empty.

The line-up was great, with the headliners Opshop joined on the six show national vineyard tour by Kiwis Che Fu and Aaradhna and Australian singer songwriter Missy Higgins.

But some in the fewer than 1000-person crowd blamed a lack of regional advertising for the lacking audience. Steep ticket prices and the venue not being a vineyard, like at the other summer centres on the tour, may also have put people off, said Nelson business owner Jude Biggs.

She was having a great time in the audience listening to Fu - one of her favourite artists - but said it was a shame the gig had been “so poorly advertised”.

She was “absolutely blown away” by how few people were in the park.

“I sort of feel embarrassed for Nelson, and sorry for the people on stage.

“How does that feel to these people up there?

“I talked to some friends today, they said they had no idea Opshop were playing. They would have loved to go, they said, if they had heard about it.

“I parked right outside the gate, there were parks everywhere.”

“It's so mellow,” said Blenheim woman Char Morrison.

“No one was dancing for Che!”

She said she and her husband James were having a great time despite others' unenthusiastic vibe, and were even considering a move to “beautiful” Nelson.

One thing no one could have complained about was the weather, with the Nelson sky showing its best colours last night, impressing Supergroove founder Che Fu.

“Nelson put it on again, the weather is beautiful,” the veteran Kiwi hip-hop and R&B star said.

He said the New Zealand music scene was as strong as ever, although it was definitely changing with the times.

“How people are creating and promoting records is different,” he said.

“You got the likes of David Dallas and Homebrew putting out tracks for free on the internet.

“I'm cool with it.”

Fu was seen mingling with fans and jamming to the other artists near the front of the crowd for much of the night.

“We all support each other on the road,” he said

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