US singer to headline music festival

Facebook conversation leads to trip

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2014
 Californian singer Brit Rodriguez
SUPPLIED
UKEFEST: Californian singer Brit Rodriguez is fundraising to fly to New Zealand to play at the Geraldine Ukulele Festival in July.

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A chance Facebook "like" began the "nutty" story that is Californian girl Brit Rodriguez fundraising to come to New Zealand to play at the Geraldine ukulele festival, sparking an international friendship at the same time.

After Brit's mother "liked" the Geraldine Ukuphonium Orchestra's Facebook page a conversation between her and festival organisers Hugh and Fi McCafferty commenced.

Through their chats they learnt that Brit played the ukulele and on the off-chance asked if she would be interested in playing at the festival.

"She said yes and we said are you sure?" said Hugh McCafferty. "We're a little surprised they were so keen to come here."

Through organising the event Mr McCafferty said that they have became friends with the Rodriguez family - even watching the Superbowl together via internet correspondence.

At 19 years old, singer-songwriter Brit is fast gaining credibility in the indie music scene.

With her confirmed as the headline act, it would make this year's festival international, said Mr McCafferty.

Brit said she was "over the moon excited" to be coming to New Zealand as she had only ever thought of it as a dream destination.

"I grew up going to see Lord of the Rings with my dad, and I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that Peter Jackson managed to make everyone fall in love with New Zealand."

Her fundraising is well under way with people donating money and buying her songs on the site Bandcamp.

"Also, after months of fans asking for shirts and physical CDs, I'm finally making it happen. I've decided to come out with ‘mix tapes' this year, just to give everyone a taste of what is to come with an EP."

Brit will open the Geraldine Ukefest on July 11 with a concert at the Geraldine cinema.

The Ukefest also includes Hamilton's Big Muffin Serious Band and The Geraldine Ukuphonium Orchestra.

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- South Canterbury

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