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NZ festivals bring in the new year with huge audiences

Festivals including Rhythm and Vines, Northern Bass and Rhythm & Alps welcomed up to 20,000 punters to non-socially distanced NYE events

By IQ on 04 Jan 2021

Rhythm and Vines welcomed 20,000 patrons to the recent NYE celebrations

Rhythm and Vines welcomed 20,000 patrons to the recent NYE celebrations

image © Facebook/Rhythm and Vines

New Year’s Eve (NYE) events were held as usual in New Zealand (NZ), with festivals welcoming tens of thousands of people to celebrate without social distancing.

Thanks to strict lockdowns and border closures which have all but eliminated Covid-19 in NZ, residents were able to enjoy a full return to live at mammoth NYE events.

NZ’s largest festival, Live Nation-owned Rhythm and Vines, welcomed 20,000 people to the Gisborne site between 29–31 December where social distancing and mask-wearing was not required.

The 18th edition of the music and camping festival – founded in 2003 by University of Otago friends Hamish Pinkham, Tom Gibson, and Andrew Witters – delivered sets from artists including Benee, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Broods, The Beths and Netsky. Single-day festival passes started from NZ$125.

Elsewhere, Rhythm & Alps celebrated its 10th anniversary by inviting 10,000 people to Wanaka, a resort town on NZ’s South Island, for three days of non-socially distanced festivities.

The event took place between 29 and 31 December, bringing in the New Year with a wholly domestic lineup featuring Six60, Chaos in the CBD and Shihad.


Northern Bass, presented by Fuzen and George FM, also celebrated its 10th chapter with another NYE celebration spanning three days and nights.

Around 10,000 people flocked to the festival site in Mangawhai – just over an hour north of Auckland – for sets from world-renowned artists, producers and DJs including Dimension, Earthgang and LAB.

NZ, which has a population of around 4.8 million, has been lauded for its response to the pandemic and currently only has 72 active Coronavirus cases.


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