New Coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val in Taranaki

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

The ‘heart of coun­try’ may be­long in Nashville, but the pulse of coun­try mu­sic will be pump­ing in Taranaki come 2018.

Waitara Memo­rial Hall will morph into a hoe­down hotspot dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral Taranaki Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val from Fe­bru­ary 16 to 18.

Aus­tralian multi-award win­ning yo­deler Laura Down­ing will per­form at the event along with a string of top Kiwi acts in­clud­ing Den­nis Au­gust, Ray­mond Solomon, Cooper’s Run, Spell­bound, and Aileen Sil­ver.

Fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers Jo­ce­lyn and Ge­orge Tuahine de­cided the re­gion was ready for a new mu­sic fes­ti­val - with a coun­try vibe.

‘‘We go to fes­ti­vals around the coun­try in­clud­ing Napier, Mar­ton and Welling­ton and there’s never any­thing here. We looked into it thought yes we can do this,’’ they said.

The duo help to run the River­side Mu­sic Club and as per­form­ers on the coun­try mu­sic cir­cuit their vi­sion for the fes­ti­val was to show­case na­tional tal­ent and give lo­cal artists a plat­form to shine. ’’The coun­try mu­sic scene in Taranaki is thriv­ing. It’s def­i­nitely on the cusp of reach­ing the next level,’’ Jo­ce­lyn said.

Bud­ding rhine­stone cow­boys and girls can share in time in the spot­light dur­ing two open mic walk up con­tests marked on the run­ning pro­grammes agenda.

While the duo ac­cept not every­body sways the coun­try way, they hope to open the minds of citys­lick­ers to their taste in sounds.

‘‘The coun­try mu­sic scene in Taranaki is thriv­ing’’

Jo­ce­lyn and Ge­orge Tuahine

’’It’s un­der­stand­ing and lis­ten­ing to the lyrics, it’s the sto­ry­line and the mes­sage be­hind them. You can sing along and coun­try mu­sic has a ten­dency to make you re­lax,’’ Ge­orge said.

The Tuahines pas­sion for coun­try mu­sic was the cat­a­lyst for or­gan­is­ing the event. Be­tween them they have an en­vi­able col­lec­tion of coun­try mu­sic awards and tro­phies that serve as me­men­tos of their mem­o­rable per­for­mances. ‘‘It’s been re­ward­ing, a lot of hard work but it’s been a great chal­lenge.’’

Fes­ti­val-go­ers can also ex­pect to see a raft of stalls on site sell­ing food, ap­parel, jew­ellery and more. Vis­i­tors can take in the en­tire week­end with mo­torhome and camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties avail­able over the week­end at the school grounds next to the venue.

With tick­ets rang­ing from $40 each to take in the en­tire week­end to $5 for the Sun­day peo­ple can visit info@taranakifes­ti­val.co.nz to find out more.

CHRIS­TINE WALSH/ STUFF

Jo­ce­lyn and Ge­orge Tuahine spread­ing their love coun­try mu­sic.

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