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Lutha Concert First Coup For Dunedin Festival

Media Release 14th October 2006

Lutha Concert First Coup For Dunedin Heritage Festival

Lutha, the legendary 1970's Dunedin rock band, has announced it will reform to give a live concert in Dunedin during the inaugural Dunedin Heritage Festival in March next year.

Caroline Cook, festival director, described the Lutha concert as an absolute coup for Dunedin. "We approached band members to be part of the Festival and while they've had many requests before to reform and give a performance, it has taken the significance of the Dunedin Heritage Festival to finally persuade them to take to the stage one more time."

Dunedin's musical heritage is the theme for the 2007 Festival and Lutha's place in the city's rock music lineage is undisputed. Formed in 1971, preceding the 'Dunedin Sound' of the 80's, this Dunedin based band, grew a huge local following in the space of a few months. Resident at Mojos in George St and later at the new Fairfield Tavern, they achieved super star status in Dunedin and standing ovations were regular occurrences. Their original music was too good to remain a Dunedin secret. In their four years they recorded two LP's, were finalists twice in TVNZ's talent show Studio One appeared on Pop Co and Happen In and were hailed nationally as 'the most exciting new group to emerge for years'.

Lutha's announcement to reform for the Dunedin Heritage Festival was made at a reunion in Dunedin on Saturday where they came together to launch a 24 - track CD of their 1970's music. This re-release of their music has been prompted by renewed interest in their work particularly in Europe where a new generation of fans are outbidding each other on e-bay to get their hands on copies of Lutha's original LP's. One LP sold in Germany for $1200.

The CD is expected to sell well in Europe and comes with a 12 page booklet not only back grounding the history of Lutha but also puts Dunedin on the international stage as the cultural environment that nurtured their musical talent.

And it's the celebration of that cultural environment that will be at the heart of the Dunedin Heritage Festival. Lutha is the first act to be announced but festival director Caroline Cook says that the level of interest and motivation that the Festival is generating, both within and outside the local community is phenomenal.

" It's very, very exciting. It's as though the concept of the Dunedin Heritage Festival has hit a nerve with so many people who have an emotional connection with the city. Dunedin has been and remains a significant breeding ground for New Zealand's heritage of arts and culture and the chance to celebrate this and participate in the Festival is being totally embraced."

There are a lot of rumours already doing the rounds about who and what may be in the final line-up of events but at this stage Ms Cook wont confirm or deny anything. "I think rumours are natural, there's a lot of excitement building, Dunedin has given birth to so many great talents, created so many treasured memories, that everyone has their own wish list but I can tell you there will be something in this Festival for everyone from high brow to popular and loads and loads of nostalgia."

While the theme of the inaugural Heritage Festival is music heritage it will embrace the cultural diversity of the community and events will be staged against the backdrop of Dunedin's heritage buildings in a true celebration of Dunedin's distinctive blend of cultural heritage, architectural character and lifestyle choice.

Dunedin Heritage Festival 22-26 March 2007


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