Rhythm and Alps 28-29 December 2012 - Wrap Release
As the younger sibling to New Zealand's biggest New Year's Eve event, Rhythm and Vines, Rhythm and Alps was no exception delivering the same fusion of exceptional international artists, high-end production, summer vibes and two nights of camping to the central South Island.
Held in the picturesque plains of Terrace Down's Alpine Resort at the base of Mt Hutt, it’s lush grasslands created an idyllic scene for the Alps arm of Rhythm events to shine in true summer style and host over 3,500 festivalgoers who congregated to party in-between the Christmas and New Year holiday.
Event manager Jazmin Powell said, “Overall the event went exceptional. The weather was perfect. Not to hot, and not too cold. We had an incredible team that helped to build from last years feedback to deliver a great event”
The forecast read for mild sunny weather, but although the rain threatened, sunshine prevailed and as night fell clouds parted to revel a glorious full moon on both evenings.
This year boasted improvements in layouts, activities, and operations as well as a new Radio Frequency identification ‘Glownet’ wristband system (RFID), which sailed through its trial endeavour without a glitch.
Hayden King from Christchurch was among the thousands of campers that stayed onsite. He claimed his festival experience was; “Absolutely top notch! I lost my friend sleep but found many new ones in return!”
Day one started with crowds of eager ticket holder’s cueing from 8.30am. The music started with pop-folk sweetheart Amiria Grenell and her band of brothers at 2pm as thousands of campers flocked onto Terrace Downs.
Electric Wire Hustle turned up the tempo early evening in the Alpine arena, While the Rhythm Stage well and truly came alive around dusk with the bouncy, chopped, synth-sawed sounds of young Sydney beat-maker Flume.
Despite a long-haul flight direct from the UK, a stand out crowd favourite was brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence aka Disclosure cutting poppish melody into their signature garage-house style.
Next, it was time for Rhythm and Alps exclusive live act SBTRKT. A long wait after their signature scheduled start time created a frenzie of anticipation. When they finally got going, pleased fans showed their appreciation with a roaring cheer. The curtain dropped to revel the masked musicians in their trademark tribal masks, while deep baselines and warm keys hit among an orchestra of percussive drumming and emotive vocals.
Arguably the main event was Belgium drum n bass producer Netsky who brought his LIVE show to Rhythm and Alps, and for the first time ever in the Southern Hemisphere. This combined with perfect production, the MC’s birthday and the full moon rising behind the stage fashioned a stunning, hair-raising performance.
Day two kicked off with the silky smooth vocals of Louis Baker, following later with a stand out jam-style performance from one of Oakley Grenells’ many musical projects; jazz-drenched, hip-hopped, funk-soul 8 piece, Departure Lounge.
Beat musicians on the Rhythm Stage turned up the heat with DJ Dreadford and MC J-dubs, Alphabethead, Gaslamp Killer and Kev Fresh & RapScallion, but the standout performance had to go to Australian hip-bounce, base-music duo Hermitude who dropped a live set of originals from both albums, with Hyper Paradise (flume remix) going down particularly well.
"R&A was one of the most awesome locations for a festival we've played, fresh line-up, great crowd; New Zealand really knows how to do it!" - Hermitude
One of the many festival highlights was undoubtedly, Where The Wild Things Are DJ zone. Big subs drove bass heavy beats into the forest while dancing feet erupted clouds of dust into the air. Musical moments included OG, with J-dubs, MC Aeries and a human beatboxer, Kamandi, a cameo performance from Melbournite Jerry Poon, as well as a stoking DJset from local lad Seth Hamilton.
The Alpine Arena’s programming was busting with fine kiwi talent early evening with the likes of Tali LIVE, Ruby Frost, The Nudge, and a HoriBuzz, then the crowd flocked like moths to a flame when the unmistakable voice of Charlie 2na, and his live band bellowed across the plains. In true showman style Mr 2na had the crowd in the palm of his hand, as they hung on his every word and rhyme delivering a message of positivity, good music and one love.
Highlights also included Dj Yoda and a 5 hour showcase from Hospital Recordings featuring; High Contrast, Camo & Krooked, Logistics, S.P.Y and MC Wrec. The audience revelled in their drum and base treatment, lapping up every beat, playing testament to why Hospital and their artists are on top of their game in the world-wide circuit.
Event Director Alex Turnbull was wrapped with the overall outcome of the event, “This year’s event was a massive improvement from last year. The high calibre of acts combined with a fantastic team meant that everyone had a great time”