Huge gigs rock reef
It has been 10 years since coastal watering hole Butlers Reef put its hand up to be a summer entertainment hot spot.
And in that 10 years it has fast become a crowd favourite.
Owner Kymon Hill said the establishment had teamed up with Auckland promoters a decade ago and it was now one of seven seaside towns around the country that attracted some of New Zealand's top acts each summer.
"We're happy with how it's gone," he said.
"It's always worrying because there's a lot of infrastructure that goes in and a huge cost associated with it but, on the other side, I'm really proud Butlers has managed to get involved."
The bar now had a reputation as being one of the best live entertainment venues in the region, he said.
"You'd be amazed at how many bands call and say we'd really like to play at Butlers, and it's because it's got this awesome reputation.
"We're also really lucky the whole village is understanding about what we do and they get behind it."
Four huge nights of entertainment are scheduled for this summer, starting with Six60 and Iva Lamkum on December 27.
Three days later, one of New Zealand's biggest live acts, Kora, takes the stage and plans to give Taranaki fans a glimpse into its new album Light Years, which band members have classed as "alien funk".
Laughton Kora said the term "alien funk" meant anything that was out of this world, in an electronic sense.
"The whole thing with space is that it represents the unknown, and that's how we feel about our music - we don't know where we're going but, when we find what we like, we stay with it."
Guitarist Fran Kora said "the 'Naki" audience could expect a lot of new songs as well as the old classic "power packed with rockin' heavy grooves and tasty melodies".
On January 2, New Zealand rockers Shihad storm into Oakura with London-based Kiwi band I Am Giant, and King Cannons.
Rounding off the summer series on January 5 are Katchafire and Ladi6, which Hill said was a great way to end the tour.
"It's real feel-good music and it fits in with the Kiwi summer," he said.
Hill said last year they made the decision not to host a big act on New Year's Eve, which was a plan they were sticking to this year.
"We used to and they actually did really really well, but it's one of those nights when the crowd can sometimes get a little bit too boisterous.
"I just felt that, because we're a local pub, it's really nice we don't have a massive event and everybody who's been there for the rest of the year can come up and enjoy New Year's Eve at the pub as well."
Hill said that while the summer series was successful, it probably wasn't as profitable as people might think. However, he hoped it would continue for years to come.
"I think if we didn't do it, no-one else would really be able to.
"We're kind of a cool up-and-coming province and, if you start taking away the entertainment side of things, you kind of lose a bit of that gloss which is important for the area."
Next week, The Mayfair and its summer entertainment will be featured.
SIX60 Band: Matiu Walters, Ji Fraser, Marlon Gerbes, Eli Paewai and Chris Mac. How would you describe your genre/style? A blend of soul, rock, dub-step and drum and bass.
How much do you love summer touring? Ji: We had the honour of doing the biggest summer tour on record last summer. We had the time of our lives and can't wait to do it all again.
Gig: December 27 with Iva Lamkum.
KORA Band: Dan McGruer, Francis Kora, Stuart Kora, Brad Kora and Laughton Kora.
How would you describe your genre/style? Future-shocked funk, soul and rhythm and blues aka alien funk.
What do you love most about playing in Taranaki? Fran: The surfing! Just kidding. The fans, the crowds obviously. They're always so enthusiastic, they get right into the performance and we can feel the heat from them on stage. It's really choice . . . oh and did I mention the surfing?
Gig: December 30 with The Nudge.
SHIHAD Band: Jon Toogood, Tom Larkin, Karl Kippenberger, Phil Knight.
Genre: Alternative rock.
Gig: January 2 with I Am Giant and King Cannons.
KATCHAFIRE Band: Jordan Bell, Leon Davey, Logan Bell, Thompson Hohepa, Jamey Ferguson, Haani Totorewa, Tere Ngarua, Grenville Bell.
Genre: Aotearoa roots reggae
What can the crowd expect from your gig? They can expect the fire to be burning hot.
Gig: January 5 with Ladi6.
LADI6 Band: Ladi, Parks, Julien Dyne, Brandon Haru.
How would you describe your genre/style? Hip soul hop future fusion pancakes.
What do you love most about Taranaki? The beach and the maunga.
What do you love most about performing these summer tours? The beach, the summer vibe, the people we meet.
Gig: January 5 with Katchafire.
Taranaki Daily News