Craft work at R&V

WORK-COFFEE BALANCE: Rhythm and Vines art department manager Jules Craft takes a moment to finish his espresso while “art wizard” Kahu Jakicevich (at back) and art co-ordinator Josh Mutscheller help dress the festival site for the three-day music festival. Picture by Liam Clayton

Back in his hometown to help make the country’s biggest New Year music festival a success, Rhythm and Vines’ campsite entertainment and art department manager Jules Craft takes a moment to talk to Mark Peters about his role, the music festival, life and travel . . .

A BLT burger bulges out of Rhythm and Vines art department manager Jules Craft’s mouth as he stops to
talk. Campsite entertainment is also under his watch, which means he’s a very busy bloke — so busy in fact the festival site canteen had closed before he could grab a bite.

“I got this from the Curbside Cafe because they love me,” he says.

There’s a lot of love to go around at the festival site.

“I love people,” says Jules. “Here, I get a group of people to talk s... to and show off to everyone. I look after them and they look after me.

“I just love working with teams of people in the interest of building towards an event; having a common goal with a group of people.”

This is Jules’s third season as campsite entertainment manager at R&V and his first as the festival’s art department manager. The main role for his team of “living legends” is to dress the site with artworks such as dragons, masks and a sun they have created in a workshop.

“The team is me and six people — and a couple of cool volunteers came here to do some installations. Jack Hawke and Josh Mutscheller are my art department co-ordinators. They’re talented designers and practical artists. Jack and Josh have been working here for five months part-time then came on full-time in December.”

Jules, Jack and Josh showed organisers their plan and continue to work closely with the marketing department, site team and camp teams.

“It’s a really good synergy. They all know their areas really well and we draw a lot of ideas and help from everyone else.

“We just can’t blow the budget, which is easy to do when you have a thousand ideas.”

More than three days of live music made a big impression on Jules when he first experienced the festival.
“The art was amazing and I love the music, but if you can add something special with the art you can turn it into a whole different place.

“The artwork changes up the experience of the music.”

His first contact with working on R&V was a stint at BW under Toby Burrows and Andrew Witters. Jules’s job was to paint outlines of squares as designated tent sites across Watson Park.

Four years ago he began his first season at the R&V site.
“I’ve done a tonne of event work outside of Gisborne — MCing, social media marketing, running my own events and helping friends run theirs at university. It was a summer job but now it’s my job, and a case of filling the gap from event to event. It’s the eternal summer.”

At Waikato University he studied communications and majored in marketing and public relations, graduating in 2016. He didn’t have event management in mind when he enrolled in those subjects. The love of working with other people drew him to it.

Jules gets regular work through the music festival season at events such as Homegrown, Laneways and Splore. After travelling over winter, he started work at the R&V office in July.

The festival season sees him through to around March. He finds other work until winter, then goes travelling.

“I’ve been to Europe over the past two years. This year I went to Mexico and America.”
Returning to his hometown to work on making the country’s biggest New Year music festival a success is a pinnacle event for him though.

“It’s pretty amazing. It’s the venue, and being in Gisborne. The people employed here from Gisborne make it special.

“Other events have some really good music and are well run, but a festival in this vineyard is special.

“When R&V is on I’m running around three stages for the campers-only night on the 28th. I look after the artists for that and work with the team to run activities and live bands, and make the bar areas relaxing and fun. We have three zones where we can look after everyone. From 10.30am to 4.30pm, the team ensures campsite entertainment runs smoothly.”

A particular highlight for Jules is the locals day he has arranged for garden bar stage.
“I really want to keep this going. There’s so much talent in Gisborne, and they’re willing to help out and play, so I made sure I had a slot for hometown heroes.
“I want to include the city that has made this event.”

Local acts include a kapa haka group, The Search, DJ Witters and Dizfunk, The NGOs (starring Jules’ dad, Noel Craft), and Spaghetti Toast.

Brought up within spitting distance of the surf spot Stockroute, the former Gisborne Boys’ High School student describes himself as 1000 percent Wainui. With the Pacific Ocean in the family home’s front yard, surfing keeps him sane, happy and fit, he says.

“It’s a major factor in why I came back to work on R&V. I love my hometown. I spend all year bigging up Gisborne.

“I think I won the Lotto, living here.”

Back in his hometown to help make the country’s biggest New Year music festival a success, Rhythm and Vines’ campsite entertainment and art department manager Jules Craft takes a moment to talk to Mark Peters about his role, the music festival, life and travel . . .

A BLT burger bulges out of Rhythm and Vines art department manager Jules Craft’s mouth as he stops to
talk. Campsite entertainment is also under his watch, which means he’s a very busy bloke — so busy in fact the festival site canteen had closed before he could grab a bite.

“I got this from the Curbside Cafe because they love me,” he says.

There’s a lot of love to go around at the festival site.

“I love people,” says Jules. “Here, I get a group of people to talk s... to and show off to everyone. I look after them and they look after me.

“I just love working with teams of people in the interest of building towards an event; having a common goal with a group of people.”

This is Jules’s third season as campsite entertainment manager at R&V and his first as the festival’s art department manager. The main role for his team of “living legends” is to dress the site with artworks such as dragons, masks and a sun they have created in a workshop.

“The team is me and six people — and a couple of cool volunteers came here to do some installations. Jack Hawke and Josh Mutscheller are my art department co-ordinators. They’re talented designers and practical artists. Jack and Josh have been working here for five months part-time then came on full-time in December.”

Jules, Jack and Josh showed organisers their plan and continue to work closely with the marketing department, site team and camp teams.

“It’s a really good synergy. They all know their areas really well and we draw a lot of ideas and help from everyone else.

“We just can’t blow the budget, which is easy to do when you have a thousand ideas.”

More than three days of live music made a big impression on Jules when he first experienced the festival.
“The art was amazing and I love the music, but if you can add something special with the art you can turn it into a whole different place.

“The artwork changes up the experience of the music.”

His first contact with working on R&V was a stint at BW under Toby Burrows and Andrew Witters. Jules’s job was to paint outlines of squares as designated tent sites across Watson Park.

Four years ago he began his first season at the R&V site.
“I’ve done a tonne of event work outside of Gisborne — MCing, social media marketing, running my own events and helping friends run theirs at university. It was a summer job but now it’s my job, and a case of filling the gap from event to event. It’s the eternal summer.”

At Waikato University he studied communications and majored in marketing and public relations, graduating in 2016. He didn’t have event management in mind when he enrolled in those subjects. The love of working with other people drew him to it.

Jules gets regular work through the music festival season at events such as Homegrown, Laneways and Splore. After travelling over winter, he started work at the R&V office in July.

The festival season sees him through to around March. He finds other work until winter, then goes travelling.

“I’ve been to Europe over the past two years. This year I went to Mexico and America.”
Returning to his hometown to work on making the country’s biggest New Year music festival a success is a pinnacle event for him though.

“It’s pretty amazing. It’s the venue, and being in Gisborne. The people employed here from Gisborne make it special.

“Other events have some really good music and are well run, but a festival in this vineyard is special.

“When R&V is on I’m running around three stages for the campers-only night on the 28th. I look after the artists for that and work with the team to run activities and live bands, and make the bar areas relaxing and fun. We have three zones where we can look after everyone. From 10.30am to 4.30pm, the team ensures campsite entertainment runs smoothly.”

A particular highlight for Jules is the locals day he has arranged for garden bar stage.
“I really want to keep this going. There’s so much talent in Gisborne, and they’re willing to help out and play, so I made sure I had a slot for hometown heroes.
“I want to include the city that has made this event.”

Local acts include a kapa haka group, The Search, DJ Witters and Dizfunk, The NGOs (starring Jules’ dad, Noel Craft), and Spaghetti Toast.

Brought up within spitting distance of the surf spot Stockroute, the former Gisborne Boys’ High School student describes himself as 1000 percent Wainui. With the Pacific Ocean in the family home’s front yard, surfing keeps him sane, happy and fit, he says.

“It’s a major factor in why I came back to work on R&V. I love my hometown. I spend all year bigging up Gisborne.

“I think I won the Lotto, living here.”

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