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Colossal crowd for South Island music festival


About 10,000 revellers welcomed 2019 at the South Island’s biggest New Year’s party, Rhythm & Alps (R&A), last night.

The globally renowned music festival, now in its eighth year, wrapped up this morning after three days of incredible live music at Robrosa Station in Wanaka’s Cardrona Valley. Some 5500 campers and about 4500 non-campers attended the event, which boasted chart-topping international acts such as Australian singer-songwriter MATT CORBY and rock band THE CAT EMPIRE, American rappers ACTION BRONSON and VINCE STAPLES and UK-based DJ WILKINSON.

Despite the large crowd of party-goers, R&A festival director Alex Turnbull says the event ran smoothly with no arrests or concerns.

“Rhythm & Alps has a reputation as a positive, relaxed event and everyone is generally pretty well-behaved. We always get a good crowd of people who come to see amazing live music and just enjoy the general vibe of the festival,” he says. “We have an exceptional local team who pull this together every year and we couldn’t be happier with how this year’s event turned out.”

Kiwi acts such as reggae group THE BLACK SEEDS, electronic star BAYNK, Christchurch band THE BUTLERS and singer-songwriter JULIA DEANS of Fur Patrol fame also took the stage, along with many other international acts.

The three-day festival attracted adults of all ages and music tastes, thanks to a diverse line-up of acts which were hand-picked by the R&A team for their wide general appeal.

“We are stoked with all of our artists – many of them travelled halfway around the world to get here and when they did, they put on a hell of a show. The atmosphere was electric for the entire three days,” Turnbull adds. “The support they had behind the scenes, as well as the quality of the stage production, really took all of the performances to the next level.”

Temperatures reached the high 20s on New Year’s Eve, however Turnbull says the weather had no impact on the crowds.

“The weather was really hot but that just enhanced the summer-holiday vibe,” he says. “It was the absolute best place to be for New Year’s – epic music, world-class stage production and a great atmosphere. We’re really proud to deliver one of the best music festivals in the southern hemisphere and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

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