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Jody Direen Headlines 2018 Wairarapa Country Music Festival

Jody Direen Headlines 2018 Wairarapa Country Music Festival

One of New Zealand’s top country stars, Jody Direen, will headline the 2018 Wairarapa Country Music Festival being held at the picturesque Tauherenikau Racecourse with a performance on Saturday January 13th.

Jody, who has been described as “the Queen of Country” will bring her fresh, contemporary take on country music to the family-friendly three-day festival being held from Friday, January 12th – Sunday 14th 2018. Other festival performers include Cooper's Run, who has shared the stage with Lady Antebellum, Glen Campbell & Kenny Rogers; all-time country and western favourite Gerry Lee; Ania Warren, Shane Harvey, Leanne and Justine Kestrup, Elizabeth Maindonald and others.

Event organiser Matthew Sherry is thrilled to have Jody headline the festival and says the audience will be in for an evening of pure entertainment.

“Jody has been wowing audiences for the last five years with her modern take on country music and her stage presence is amazing,” says Mr Sherry. “To have her perform alongside other top kiwi musicians who bring their traditional take on country music will be marvellous. Together they will entertain festival-goers at Tauherenikau in the Wairarapa with range of country music styles and help create a weekend to remember.”

Jody was born in Mosgiel, raised in Wanaka and first took up playing guitar at the age of nine, after being introduced to it by her grandmother. She has since gone onto have an exciting career here in New Zealand and in Australia and the USA after signing with major record label, ABC Music. Her current album "Shake Up" won the Tui Award for Best Country Album at the 2017 NZCMA's and in 2015 she was crowned Female Artist of the Year (CMANZ) as well as 2015 'Benny' Award winner for Best Vocalist of the Year. She has also worked under the management of U.S talent management company 'Bear Grylls Ventures' and performed a guest spot on the Global Artist Showcase at the CMA Festival in Nashville, Tennessee (the largest Country music festival in the world).

She says her contemporary take on country music is something new to New Zealand and she hopes she can help change Kiwis attitude to country music.

"I think some New Zealanders still have a stereotypical view of country music shaped by the greats like Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers. I see myself as part of a new wave coming through globally with my own songs and performances having a more pop and rock influence,” she says.

“I encourage people who are new to this style to come along to the Wairarapa Country Music Festival and listen as I am sure they will love it. My performance will be high energy, with a few intimate acoustic guitar tracks, but with the support of my band will rev it up so people can get up and dance and have an amazing night.”

Jody says her songs, many of which she has written or collaborated on with other song-writers, are largely based on love and relationships as well as the “old heartbreak song”.

“I try to keep the songs true to myself. There’s a wildness and purity about them – part of which is shaped by the outdoors – growing up in Wanaka the outdoors has been a big influence on me.”

Mr Sherry is excited to stage the three-day festival again at Tauherenikau, located just north of Featherston. He said the previous two festivals featuring The Warratah’s and The Topp Twins respectively attracted large crowds as well as 260 motorhome and caravans.

Mr Sherry is expecting the 2018 event to be just as successful.

He says in addition to the diverse line-up of performers, there is plenty of motorhome and caravan parking on site. This provides a great opportunity for people to park up for the weekend under beautiful English specimen and native trees and bush teeming with birdlife, listen to terrific music and enjoy the company of great friends.

He says Festival-goers can buy three-day or single day tickets while a variety of food stalls and refreshments will also be on site. Mr Sherry says Jody Direen’s headlining performance will be in the evening on Saturday, January 13th 2018.


What: The Wairarapa Country Music Festival

When: January 12th – 14th 2018

Where: Tauherenikau Racecourse, Wairarapa (SH2, just north of Featherston)

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For more information on camping visit -

For more information on the Wairarapa visit


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