Music festival plans up in the air

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Wanaka’s economy is likely to be dealt another blow as two music festivals have had to be downsized or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rhythm and Alps festival director Alex Turnbullsaid 10,000 people would normally attend the three day music festival this December at Cardrona to see and hear both international and New Zealand acts.

He said the festival was ’’quite far down the track’’ in booking the international acts for its tenth anniversary event to be held in the paddocks of Robrosa Station — but since the Covid-19 outbreak he had been looking at a range of different scenarios.
‘‘Scenario A is as per normal but we just don’t know whether the borders will be open so Plan B is a domestic New Zealand line-up, which is still pretty exciting.’’

Mr Turnbull said the festival was also factoring in the possibility of New Zealand being in Alert Level 1 —which does not allow for mass gatherings of 500 people or more — in the New Year.
‘‘We are also planning for gatherings of up to 499 people where we would offer . . . accommodation, catering and entertainment.’’

This September, Europe’s biggest winter music festival, Snowboxx, had been set to make its southern hemisphere debut in collaboration with Rhythm and Alps at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
Mr Turnbull said 70% of the tickets had been sold for the seven-day package which included flights, accommodation, transport, ski passes, slope-side parties and performances.
It was now on hold.

The two music festivals would normally have contributed an estimated $15 million to $20 million to the Wanaka economy, Mr Turnbull said.
Warbirds Over Wanaka was due to be held last weekend and was cancelled due to Covid-19.
In previous years it had contributed morethan $20,000 to the wider Wanaka district.
The organisers of annual Gibbston Concert did not respond to requests about their event.
– Otago Daily Times