Music fest helping international cause

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Central Otago music-lovers are being encouraged to support a charity concert to raise money for an international programme.

Former Alexandra man Ben Whitaker and his family, in conjunction with Dunstan High School pupils, will again host the “Festival of Music – The (Little) Big Day Out” in Alexandra on Sunday.

The festival will follow the same format as previous fundraising concerts, which have raised money for Mr Whitaker’s Food 4 Thought programme.

Mr Whitaker lives in Argentina but visits Central Otago most years during the summer, when previous concerts have been staged.

The Food 4 Thought programme, part of the Social Opportunity Group founded by Mr Whitaker in 2013, helps underprivileged children in the small community of Monte Chingolo, in the Lanus province, in greater Buenos Aires.

Mr Whitaker’s father, Alan Whitaker, who is the event organiser for this year’s festival, said the concert would feature about 20 acts.

“As per last year, the event will be a showcase of talent within the area and will include students from Alexandra schools in kapa haka performances, plus musical solos, duos and bands. As well, local bands will provide entertainment during the day.”

The picnic-style event will be held in Centennial Park, at the old swimming pool site between Thompson and Rivers Sts, from 11.30am to 8pm this Sunday, November 26.

Food and beverages will be on sale but families can also bring their own picnic. Entry is $10 per person, with a maximum of $20 per family (children under 8 free). All profits will go to Food 4 Thought.