High time I wrote a little something about a music festival I was at recently – the Tauranga & Katikati Acoustic Music Festival, 21-22 Feb.
This is a totally relaxed event with just one smallish stage, set in a nice little lifestyle orchard just north of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. That doesn’t mean you’re short changed on the music front, and at just $25 its quite a bargain (WOMAD is five times the festival but ten times the price, and that’s before you get stung for the camping).
Speaking of camping (quite a few festival-goers do), you get to pitch up in the orchard within easy earshot (and if you are lucky sight) of the stage. Facilities are minimal (tap and portaloos) but a coffee cart and food stall popped up on the saturday.
The event starts friday night with a blackboard concert. Several hours entertainment from people I knew and others I didn’t, but a high standard. A nice mixture too, of solo performers, duos and more, from folk and early music to the odd country standard. The stage finishes after 9pm but the music doesn’t; for the stayers there’s plenty of time to jam around the camping, or better still join the circle in lovely hosts Paul and Penny’s garage. That went on for ages both evenings.
Saturday afternoon and evening was the time for day trippers and main acts. Quite a line up too; Owen Hugh, Rachel Dawick, Bev Young, Hobnail were all great and there were local performers in the gaps – also very good. The published programme was a little out though so I missed one performer who started earlier than I expected.
The music and the experience were great all weekend. The rain didn’t make any difference to us (although it gave the togs a rinse after swimming in Lake Taupo on the way up).
The jamming in the garage was great. Also it was nice to see guest Owen Hugh jamming with everyone so much, and even Hobnail for a while.
There is a nice mix of familiar faces from the folk festival circuit, new faces / friends and local attendees.
A lovely setting for a day and a half of nice acoustic music. One for next year’s calendar.