New Country music festival in Taranaki
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Jocelyn and George Tuahine spreading their love country music.