Industry summit built on rock and roll


It all started as a simple scheme — to put on a rock concert.

It was 1997 and Lynne Christie, of Wanaka, along with about a dozen others, decided to create a music event in the region.

They set up Lake Wanaka SouNZ Inc as a not-for-profit music promoting group, and Ms Christie approached Rippon Vineyard co-founders Lois and Rolfe Mills about using their land for a concert, ‘‘not thinking for a moment there would be a chance it would go ahead ’’.

However, the owners said yes and the first concert took place on Waitangi Day in 1998, featuring acts including Jan Hellriegel, Chris Knox, Salmonella Dub, Pitch Black, and HDU.

‘‘It was a great time to be able to support New Zealand music and actually bring it to Wanaka.’’

The festivals at Rippon Vineyard continued to be crowdpleasers over the years, and in 2018 the festival changed its name and location to take place as the Tuki Festival at Wanaka’s Glendhu Bay.

‘‘It was always going to be no tfor-profit, but we thought it would be a one-off.’’

Ms Christie was head of music at Mt Aspiring College at the time of the first festival, and one of the aims was to find ways to help her pupils develop links in the music industry.

Sounz Forza workshops for musicians were developed, and in 2015 the first Youth and Adult Music Industry (Yami) summit took place.

As a music teacher, she realised young people needed to know practical aspects of the music industry, so the summit aimed to help develop skills such as budgeting a tour, working out taxes and licensing and publishing.

‘‘So there was a gap and we decided to fill it.’’

Since the first summit, Ms Christie said it had been exciting to see how previous attendees had progressed.

‘‘It has been great to see some five years later we’ve got some now who have released albums on Spotify and they are touring and they have been signed by labels.’’

The next Yami summit returns to Wanaka for its fifth event on May 8 and 9.

Some of the music industry heavyweights at the summit would be Trinity Roots lead singer Warren Maxwell, The Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties singer-songwriter Barnaby Weir, producer and engineer Lee Prebble and NZ On Air head of music and radio David Ridler.

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