That’s coun­try, in town

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES - By JO MCKENZIEMCLEAN

Coun­try mu­sic lovers should pre­pare for hoarse voices, sore feet and late nights with a three-day fes­ti­val com­ing to Cromwell. Cromwell’s Gold ’n Notes Hoe­down is one of the big­gest events on the coun­try mu­sic cal­en­dar, last year at­tract­ing a record crowd of more than 800, as well as about 70 artists from around New Zealand. Event or­gan­iser Ferg Mitchell of Cromwell said the event, spon­sored by Mike Hedges Builders Ltd, had be­come so pop­u­lar or­gan­is­ers had hired a big­ger mar­quee this year to ac­com­mo­date the ex­tra crowd ex­pected. He started it 27 years ago in the Waitaki Val­ley but the move to Cromwell Race­course had made the event per­fect for mo­tor-homers who started com­ing to the event 10 years ago, he said. ‘‘Each year it has got big­ger and big­ger . . . word of mouth has brought more and more mo­tor homes to it and last year a record num­ber of 150-plus at­tended the event.’’ Over the weekend there would be day­time busking around town, jam ses­sions and top tal­ent show­cases. Many of the lo­cal busi­nesses were sup­port­ing the event of­fer­ing spe­cials in shops, do­nat­ing raf­fles and of­fer­ing man­power over the weekend, Mr Mitchell said. ‘‘We will have the lo­cal Li­ons and sport­ing groups cater­ing a va­ri­ety of snacks and meals each day at a ba­sic cost with the re­fresh­ment tent on site all weekend plus the other ne­ces­si­ties – Mr Whippy, cof­fee and maybe a wine tast­ing booth pro­mot­ing our lo­cal wines.’’ Fri­day night’s en­ter­tain­ment would con­sist of four to five hours of black­board artists, with mini show­cases run­ning through Satur­day and walk-up artists on Sun­day. The main event will be the show­case of top New Zealand tal­ent on Satur­day night.

Photo: JOHN HAWKINS 628577251

All that jazz: The Cromwell Col­lege jazz band, pic­tured, was one of eight that com­peted be­fore 200 peo­ple at the 16th an­nual Jazz Fest in In­ver­cargill last week. The Wakatipu High School band Best Served Chilled Combo of Ngawai Davis, An­gus Reid, An­gel Thorn­ton, Nick Fo­ley, Ali­cia Tickle, Len­nart Neu­gart, Luke Pe­tre, AJ Key, Matt Brad­ford, Mil­lie Aitken and Bryce Baldey was awarded first place while Dunstan High School’s Dunstan Jazz, fea­tur­ing Mia Kelly, So­phie Wright, Matt En­right, Sarah Wright, Josh Houston, MacCauley Har­ris, Max Rayner, Thomas Gib­bons and Rhian Ward won best test piece. Cen­tral Otago in­di­vid­u­als who won awards were: best com­pere, Matt En­right of Dunstan High School; best bass, Thomas Gibb­son of Dunstan High School and best drums, Bryce Baldey, of Wakatipu High School.

Hoe­down: Hun­dreds of coun­try mu­sic fans are ex­pected to turn out for Cromwell’s Gold ‘n Notes Hoe­down this month.

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