RnV New Year's eve a Kiwi artist fest

Kiwi crew helps 14th annual Rhythm and Vines see in new year.

Kiwi crew helps 14th annual Rhythm and Vines see in new year.

Rhythm and Vines: the view up the hill. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Rhythm and Vines - The Jordan Luck Band.
Festival-goers at Rhythm and Vines. Residents have praised the festival but are dismayed at the amount of rubbish they have been left with. Picture by Liam Clayton
Some of the crowd in the swing of the 2016 festival. Picture by Liam Clayton

THEY have seen American rappers, European DJs and Australian electro-pop ensembles, but it was a largely Kiwi crew that helped those attending the 14th annual Rhythm and Vines see in the new year.

Former frontman of The Exponents and the man behind Kiwi classics Why Does Love Do This To Me and Victoria kicked off the evening on the main stage with The Jordan Luck Band.

New Zealand hip hop artist and rapper Savage followed with a crowd-rousing set.

You could have been mistaken for thinking the 17,000-strong crowd was welcoming in 2004 or 2008, as Savage span out early 2000s hits Stop, Drop and Roll (2003) and Moonshine (2007).

But the set went down well with festival revellers, many of whom mentioned the artist as a highlight of the evening.

Chinese American musician ZHU followed Savage, finishing off 2016 with a mellow jazz-fused electronic set.

A video collage showing highlights of the outgoing year was projected onto centre stage, as a countdown and fireworks ushered in the new year.

New Zealand hip hop DJ and producer P-Money played the first set of 2017.

First time attendees Grace Tapsell and Phoebe Pye from Auckland said they were glad they chose to see in the new year at the festival.

“It was incredible, I really liked the artists but the first and second nights were better than the third,” Ms Tapsell said.

Fellow Aucklander Georgie Glover-Clark would have liked to have seen artists from earlier in the festival play the big night.

Despite this and a handful of bruises from the mosh pit, she said she would definitely return to Rhythm and Vines for future New Year celebrations.

Other revellers would return for different reasons.

Grace Forlong and Bronnie Ormandy, who come from Auckland and Wanaka respectively, were celebrating not only the New Year but their reunion.

“The highlight has been the vibes and the people,” Ms Forlong said.

“We’re all here for the same reason, to have fun.”

While a high percentage of those attending the festival were 18 and 19-year-old high school leavers, there was a notable presence of 20-to-30-year-olds and beyond.

Former Gisborne woman Julie Watson, who has been legally able to buy alcohol for quite some time, also saw the festival as a time to catch up with old friends.

“I came with two friends from the area. I like to come and see all the young people having a good time,” she said.

The majority of those attending the festival were New Zealanders, but some revellers came from further afield.

Johan Ekloef from Sweden was travelling through New Zealand with friends when he heard about the festival.

“It just happened to be a nice opportunity while we were travelling through,” he said.

“I really like the main stage, how you can watch it from up on the hill.”

Another traveller, Jessica Babineaux of Texas, said she had heard about the festival while working in Rotorua.

The 24-year-old, who stayed on-site in an eco tent was surprised at the number of under-twenties but said she enjoyed her time at the event.

“Chance the Rapper was for sure the highlight for me,” she said.

“Such a great set, dude has so much energy and his love for performing really shines through.”

Festival founder Hamish Pinkham was pleased with how the 14th annual Rhythm and Vines festival had played out.

“This year's festival has been one for the books and I can’t wait to crack into planning for the 15th year of the festival in 2017,” he said.

THEY have seen American rappers, European DJs and Australian electro-pop ensembles, but it was a largely Kiwi crew that helped those attending the 14th annual Rhythm and Vines see in the new year.

Former frontman of The Exponents and the man behind Kiwi classics Why Does Love Do This To Me and Victoria kicked off the evening on the main stage with The Jordan Luck Band.

New Zealand hip hop artist and rapper Savage followed with a crowd-rousing set.

You could have been mistaken for thinking the 17,000-strong crowd was welcoming in 2004 or 2008, as Savage span out early 2000s hits Stop, Drop and Roll (2003) and Moonshine (2007).

But the set went down well with festival revellers, many of whom mentioned the artist as a highlight of the evening.

Chinese American musician ZHU followed Savage, finishing off 2016 with a mellow jazz-fused electronic set.

A video collage showing highlights of the outgoing year was projected onto centre stage, as a countdown and fireworks ushered in the new year.

New Zealand hip hop DJ and producer P-Money played the first set of 2017.

First time attendees Grace Tapsell and Phoebe Pye from Auckland said they were glad they chose to see in the new year at the festival.

“It was incredible, I really liked the artists but the first and second nights were better than the third,” Ms Tapsell said.

Fellow Aucklander Georgie Glover-Clark would have liked to have seen artists from earlier in the festival play the big night.

Despite this and a handful of bruises from the mosh pit, she said she would definitely return to Rhythm and Vines for future New Year celebrations.

Other revellers would return for different reasons.

Grace Forlong and Bronnie Ormandy, who come from Auckland and Wanaka respectively, were celebrating not only the New Year but their reunion.

“The highlight has been the vibes and the people,” Ms Forlong said.

“We’re all here for the same reason, to have fun.”

While a high percentage of those attending the festival were 18 and 19-year-old high school leavers, there was a notable presence of 20-to-30-year-olds and beyond.

Former Gisborne woman Julie Watson, who has been legally able to buy alcohol for quite some time, also saw the festival as a time to catch up with old friends.

“I came with two friends from the area. I like to come and see all the young people having a good time,” she said.

The majority of those attending the festival were New Zealanders, but some revellers came from further afield.

Johan Ekloef from Sweden was travelling through New Zealand with friends when he heard about the festival.

“It just happened to be a nice opportunity while we were travelling through,” he said.

“I really like the main stage, how you can watch it from up on the hill.”

Another traveller, Jessica Babineaux of Texas, said she had heard about the festival while working in Rotorua.

The 24-year-old, who stayed on-site in an eco tent was surprised at the number of under-twenties but said she enjoyed her time at the event.

“Chance the Rapper was for sure the highlight for me,” she said.

“Such a great set, dude has so much energy and his love for performing really shines through.”

Festival founder Hamish Pinkham was pleased with how the 14th annual Rhythm and Vines festival had played out.

“This year's festival has been one for the books and I can’t wait to crack into planning for the 15th year of the festival in 2017,” he said.

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