Mussel festival will move to the sound of reggae rhythms
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.
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.