Otago Daily Times

Smooth sail­ing for some mu­si­cians as scheme re­turns

- Wellington, New Zealand · KiwiRail · Interislander

WELLINGTON: Bands will be able to cross the Cook Strait free this sum­mer, pro­vided they per­form dur­ing the cross­ing.

The Bands on Board scheme run by In­ter­is­lander pro­vides free trans­porta­tion for mu­si­cians who en­ter­tain the pas­sen­gers.

It is only pos­si­ble on the Kaitaki ferry sail­ings, how­ever, as no other ferry has the stage area to host mu­si­cians.

Since 2006, 4694 sail­ings have had an artist per­form, the gen­res span­ning folk, jazz, blues and reg­gae.

Over the peak time of sum­mer, there is nor­mally one per­former per cross­ing. Whether that will con­tinue with closed bor­ders is not known.

Bands look­ing to get in­volved in the scheme are be­ing en­cour­aged to ap­ply at the In­ter­is­lander web­site.

‘‘We vet all ap­pli­ca­tions to en­sure the qual­ity and suit­abil­ity of per­form­ers and we pri­ori­tise fam­ily­friendly acts,’’ Ki­wiRail chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Miller said.

‘‘Pas­sen­ger book­ings are al­ready heavy over the Christ­mas­New Year pe­riod and hav­ing per­form­ers on board gives bands ex­po­sure to a new au­di­ence, as well as free pas­sage for one ve­hi­cle and up to six peo­ple, while cre­at­ing a fes­tive Kiwi sum­mer vibe for Kaitaki’s pas­sen­gers.’’ — RNZ

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