Party central for New Year's Eve

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 13:00 01/01/2014

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Inexpensive gig tickets and dancing out any angst to good music is the key to a safe New Year's Eve says David White of Smith's Ford party Happy Nu Yeah.

About 1000 people attended the event last night along the Maitai River, 12km from the town centre, that featured international act DJ Icicle alongside local acts including Borderline and Organikis.

White said there was an excellent turnout of people of all ages who clearly wanted to come to a safe place and enjoy good music and time with their friends.

"It has been really good actually. There are a lot of kids here learning how to party respectfully."

Young adults can be educated to respect each other, he said. "If you treat them like children, they will act like children," he said.

The former owner of the Phat Club said he enjoyed having a drink and liked creating an environment in which people could have a good time, safely.

He, along with fellow organiser Tess Siggelkow, had an arrangement with the council that would mean people were allowed to drink alcohol on the reserve next to the Maitai River so long as it was glass free and violence free.

So often were kids driven to extremes after attending expensive festivals where alcohol was strictly prohibited, unless purchased on site, Mr White said.

This party was organic, cheap and safe, he said.

"It is about going to an inexpensive party and being with mates - it is quite a primitive ideal."

Plus, the nature of drum and bass was such that attendees could dance out any aggression, he said.

"It is the same with any heavy metal or punk music. Those young males can get a lot of angst out," he said.

The 12km drive from Nelson city meant those in attendance were "really committed" to be there, he said.

This could explain the predominantly Christchurch audience, he said.

Nelsonians or people who came to Nelson always had a great respect for live music.

And this was "just the ticket for drum and bass lovers", he said.

"We've got good sound equipment, good lights, everybody is having a great time, it is all looking really good," he said.

Attendee Stuart Uphold said he was privileged to be at a world-class event.

It was probably not recorded as a world-class event because David Guetta was not performing but the quality of drum and bass was fantastic, he said.

"I'm a supervisor at an international company and I like to have a fun time just like everyone else."

The 32-year-old said the event was an amazing escape from reality.

Meanwhile, partygoers also got to get their psychedelic groove on at the Boathouse along Wakefield Quay. Organiser Ali Howard said every year was a success but this year they decided to "spice things up" with a groovy glam theme.

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"The theme is fun and it is silly, why not?" she said.

For just $45 a ticket, attendees could enjoy a 1970s buffet, adorned with cheese hedgehogs and pavlova pudding and performances by local band, Groove Collective.

Slightly fewer people were in attendance than last year, she said.

In any event, partygoers would be spending their New Year's Eve in style and she was happy to be a part of it, she said.

- Nelson

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