Summer concerts planned at Mapua Hall

Mapua Hall is set to rock to concerts this summer.

The upgraded hall will host Salmonella Dub Soundsystem on December 28 and Paul Madsen on January 4.

The community hall reopened in August after a $1 million upgrade and that has inspired owners of The Playhouse Cafe to run concerts there over summer.

Mapua is a popular holiday place over summer, particularly attracting families from Christchurch.

The Playhouse Cafe is in Westdale Rd, off Coastal Highway 60 and hosts bands, theatre, weddings and other functions.

Owner Nic Roland said: "We won't stop holding entertainment at The Playhouse Cafe by any means, in fact we have a great summer lineup, but there is a real opportunity to bring in acts that will draw larger crowds than we are able to host at our venue, at a time of the year when there is an eager audience ready for a great night out.

"Salmonella Dub Soundsystem and Paul Madsen were obvious choices for us. They are both local and appeal to wide but different audiences. It's going to be a real thrill to see the hall in full flight, we want these to be family-friendly, community focused events."

Mapua Hall deputy chairman Graeme Stradling said the concerts would be a test.

"We have controls in place for the usual things and Nic is experienced in this. We want to see how it goes."

He expected the concerts would be for about 300 people, there would be a liquor licence, and they would end by midnight.

The hall was now twice as busy as it used to be with community activities but the holiday period would be its downtime, he said.

It fitted with their strategy of a sustainable Mapua where people did not have to drive away for their needs. Families came for their holidays and it was another activity for them and residents.

"It should be good," he said.

Paul Madsen, whose Bee Gees tribute act is popular, this year performed successfully at sellout shows in Las Vegas.

Salmonella Dub lead guitarist Andrew Penman said he started off playing community halls with the band 20 years ago, and it was great to bring it back full circle to where they started, "back to our roots".

Salmonella Dub are also hosting a New Year event at the Pohara Hall in Golden Bay.

The Nelson Mail