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Summer Rains Ignite Burning Horse Festival

Summer rains are bringing double delight to the organizers of Burning Horse festival, held on a sprawling 1000 acre sheep farm just outside Riversdale. While the farm owners celebrate the lush conditions nurturing their pastures and lambs, the moisture levels coupled with the open fire season spell a long-awaited opportunity for the festival's central feature - a towering wooden Trojan Horse - to meet its fiery destiny this year.

The monumental sculpture, a true "labour of love," was created during the scorching summer of 2023, with the intent of being ceremonially set ablaze during the three-day music and arts extravaganza. However, the organizers faced a disappointing setback when a total fire ban was declared across the region on the morning of the 2023 event, compelling them to shelve the fiery spectacle. The Giant Trojan thus assumed a new moniker - "The Horse That Lived."

Reflecting on the unexpected twist of fate, organizer Zeb Horrell remarked, "It's actually a bit of a godsend that we couldn't burn it last year. It's been a joy having it down by the river throughout the year. It's probably the largest horse in New Zealand, and it's a massive relief not having to construct it again this year. We've been able to channel that energy into refining our systems and crafting three new spectacular stages."

Since its inception in 2018, Burning Horse festival has witnessed exponential growth each year. Scheduled from February 16th to 18th, this year's edition promises to be its grandest yet with final release tickets still available. "We're truly excited about this one," Horrell exclaimed. "We've curated a lineup of extraordinary musicians and workshop facilitators, both local and further abroad. With fingers crossed for gentle breezes on Saturday, we're eagerly anticipating the cathartic and ecstatic experience of the burning of the horse."

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About Burning Horse Festival:

Established in 2018, Burning Horse Festival is a vibrant celebration of music, arts, and community held annually on a picturesque sheep farm near Riversdale. Over the years, it has evolved into a beloved gathering, offering attendees a unique blend of music, immersive experiences, workshops, and performances amidst the stunning backdrop of rural New Zealand. More info on

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