Mus­sel fes­ti­val will move to the sound of reg­gae rhythms

Nelson Mail - - News - Matt Brown [email protected]

Reg­gae rock­ers Katchafire will head­line next year’s Have­lock Mus­sel & Seafood Fes­ti­val.

Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Hans Neil­son said the man­age­ment com­mit­tee re­alised the ‘‘un­de­ni­able’’ ef­fect of hav­ing a top-notch head­line act af­ter ticket sales jumped 91 per cent last year with the Black Seeds at the helm.

The mu­si­cal lineup for the 15th in­stal­ment of the fes­ti­val will be rounded out by Marl­bor­ough’s own A Mi­nor Thing and Nel­son kings of swing Sun City Soul.

Cook­book ace Annabel Lang­bein is set to make her first ap­pear­ance at the event on March 16, and will be joined in the culi­nary tent by Chris For­tune and Paulie Hooton.

‘‘Per­haps the hardest part of my job these last months has been keep­ing the news quiet. Your first in­stinct af­ter se­cur­ing Katchafire and Annabel Lang­bein is to run around the streets yelling at the top of your lungs,’’ Neil­son said.

Have­lock’s show­piece event will still in­clude all the reg­u­lar favourites such as cook­ing demon­stra­tions, com­pe­ti­tions, mar­ket stalls, in­dus­try dis­plays, the Kid­sZone, and an­other crack at the Guin­ness World Record for mus­sel open­ing.

Over the years, the event has raised more than $200,000 for the Marl­bor­ough com­mu­nity.

‘‘This is a point of pride for our fes­ti­val­go­ers, and we’re for­tu­nate to be sup­ported by such a great bunch of lo­cal busi­nesses and spon­sors that get be­hind the fes­ti­val and are all part of the big­ger fam­ily,’’ Neil­son said.

‘‘Our big­gest point of pride is that we are able to de­liver such a high­qual­ity event that is af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble.’’

Early bird tick­ets ($37.50 adults, $7 un­der-12s) went on sale yesterday via Tick­etek. Trans­port op­tions are avail­able as ticket add-ons.

MARION VAN DIJK/STUFF

Gra­ham Shirley, left, was a busi­ness­man who gave gen­er­ously to Nel­son and be­yond. Com­mu­nity in­volve­ment was a huge part of his life, in­clud­ing be­ing in­volved in the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Nel­son Santa Pa­rade for more than 30 years.

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