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Thank you Christchurch

Immediate Media Release
29 October, 2009

Thank you Christchurch

Three weeks out from the devastating Tsunami that hit Samoa, Christchurch made a huge contribution to fundraising efforts by buying tickets to the I Love The Islands Samoa Relief concert held at the Westpac Arena last Tuesday night.

Tickets sold amounted to over $30,000 raised with over almost 1200 tickets sold. With supporters and crew giving their time for free, including venue staff, security, operators and technicians and volunteers the event brought close to 2,000 people into Westpac Arena to witness a unique experience of giving, hope and music.

It took only a two week time frame for performing arts collective Pacific Underground to gather assistance from all sorts of people in Christchurch, starting with long time partners in gigs and events, sound company Bounce NZ, lighting company A & C Lighting, and the Christchurch City Council’s Event Development team, who contacted VBase.

“We’ve worked with Bounce and A&C for around 15 years, almost as long as PU’s been in existence. There are minimal costs though, tiny in comparison to what they’ve given up as small local businesses. The concert looked and sounded fantastic and the crews worked tirelessly packing in and out of the venue” says Pos Mavaega of Pacific Underground. “The show itself ran smoothly with BounceNZ’s stage crew, MAINZ students and a technician from CHART, with the stage managers coming from CCC Events Team. We finished earlier than programmed because of their efficiency and skill. It’s a testament of Christchurch’s big heart and hard working businesses. To have achieved all this in such a small amount of time is an achievement Christchurch should be proud of.”

Christchurch City Council and Vbase really delivered with the upmost professionalism. “The venue support really got us moving. Once they all had agreed to support ‘I Love The Islands’ we put the word out then people came forward to help in any way they could.

Other businesses and organisations chipped in - C1 Espresso, Crown Limousines, Winniebagoes, Dominoes Pizza Addington, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Latimer Hotel, Vidcom, 161 The Hereford, Main Event Security, TAHU FM, RDU, PortFM, ALPHA FM, CHART. CPIT’s Pasifika team Sam Uta’I and Earl Simpson with Ministry of PI Affairs staff member Dianne Fenika were cooking onsite at the Westpac Arena.
“Sam and Earl already held a smaller community fundraiser at the Polytech the week before and raised $6,000. Sam was cooking Samoan Kokolaisa (Cocoa Rice pudding) and Panikeke (round pancakes), for the crew and performers. It’s not your usually rock ‘n’ roll ryder, but that’s how we as a community come together. There were also twenty pizzas donated by Winniebagoes and five by Dominoes Pizza in Addington, and that was enough for everyone.” Says Tanya Muagututi’a, co-coordinator.

Café owners of C1 Espresso helped even though they weren’t in the country. “They offered a free meal and a coffee for artists, so we joined that offer with Sharon Linghams and Crown Limousines transporting them from the airport to C1 (and later from their hotels to the venue). So, C1 ended up being the hive of activity at lunchtime with musicians from Dawn Raid, Ladi 6 & Parks, Anika Moa, LA Mitchell, Mark Vanilau, Rikki Gooch, Chip Matthews, Adeaze and Lapi Mariner eating in on one side, and me in another corner catching up with crew and giving out laminates. For a minute it was crazy busy there but an awesome sight.” Says Mavaega.

Air New Zealand donated the flights for the artists to get around the country, and most importantly all the performers donated their time for all the shows. There were also many individuals who gave up their time.

“We had many people we didn’t know email us to volunteer, as well as performers, but we couldn’t fit everyone into the night. It would be unsafe for us to have had too many people in the event.” says Tanya Muagututi’a, “We’ve had good vibes and a lot of love shown from Christchurch. The night truly was special, all of those who played said the feel of the concert was high in emotion, love and hope – it was overwhelming”.

Local acts D’sendantz, Lissel Stewart, Taos, A Hori Buzz, dance crews Common Ground and Alliance, Mark Vanilau, LA Mitchell, Vevela – featuring Scribe’s dad John Luafutu, Ladi 6 & Parks, Anika Moa and Scribe as well as Pacific Underground opening the show with Te Kotahitanga Kapa Haka provided a strong Christchurch base of musicians and bands with variety, and talent. They supported guests from Auckland Adeaze, Lapi Mariner and Savage. Chris Muagututi’a and Ra of TahuFM (Raniera Dallas) shared MC responsibilities with Oscar Kightley and Teuila Blakely.

Reverend Lapana Faletolu and Pos Mavaega’s dad Reverend Samoa Mavaega held a special devotion before the doors opened for everyone in the venue, and to thank everyone involved in the show from the Samoan Community. “We wanted to bring everyone under one moment in time, to know we were all working together for Samoa, remotely from this small city but with the biggest heart and gesture we could think of” says Mavaega. “Right from the opening with Te Kotahitanga and us (PU) acknowledging our links with Tangata Whenua, come from what our parents taught us as Samoans living in Christchurch.”

Initiated by Scribe and Savage’s joint request, enlisting the Pacific Music Awards Trust, Dawn Raid Entertainment, for a concert in Auckland to raise money for aid to Samoa, the momentum really picked up when musicians contacted the organisers at the same time as people hearing about it and wanting to gift their services or products for nothing.

New Zealand’s Hip Hop heavyweights Scribe and Savage took to the stage at the end of the night in a ‘battle’ set that showcased their greatest hits at the same time marking out their place in New Zealand Music.

Auckland’s concert raised $250,000, Dunedin’s concert raised $12,000 figures from the New Plymouth and Wellington figures are yet to be released.


© Scoop Media

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