Waikato festival season shakes area as summer vacation continues

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That Weekend is expected to rock South Waikato from January 29-30. Photo / Supplied

The holiday season may be over, but the festival season is about to kick off in Waikato with a long list of events planned for the remaining summer vacation.

Musical events are planned in Whangamata, Karapiro, South Waikato, Thames and Mystery Creek.

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The first is a new reggae festival called Sundown, on Joe’s Farm in Whangamata on January 2nd. The lineup includes The Black Seeds, Kora, 1814, Mai FM DJs and Ruby Du.

Reggae-Saturday is followed by the inaugural Dance Farm Festival on January 8, which will also be held at Joe’s Farm in Whangamata. Dance Farm will be presented by international superstar and Supalonely singer Benee. She’s about to rock the Coromandel with Mitch James, SACHI, Ladyhawke, Niko Walters, LA Women, Georgia Lines and AACACIA.

The middle of the month has predicted a very busy weekend with two festivals taking place at opposite ends of the region. The Kickdown Festival in Whangamata, which runs from January 20 to 23, is the North Island’s first and only motorcycle festival, dedicated to all American, British and European machines.

In the style of legendary Beach Hop – but just for bikes – Kickdown will feature a motorcycle stampede, a downtown bike show, and a concert at Joe’s Farm with the likes of SHIHAD, Devilskin, Hello Sailor and more. In addition, there will be a million dollar raffle and a joint ‘Ride the Loop’ around the world famous coastal roads of the Coromandel Peninsula.

Benee will headline the inaugural Dance Farm Festival at Joe's Farm in Whangamata.  Photo / Supplied
Benee will headline the inaugural Dance Farm Festival at Joe’s Farm in Whangamata. Photo / Supplied

At the same time, from January 20-23, the Soundsplash Festival, typically held in Raglan, will head inland and take place in Mystery Creek due to uncertainties over Covid restrictions.

Soundsplash 2022 will see a mix of international and local multi-genre acts perform on four stages. The line-up includes Netsky, Sachi, Kora, Muroki and Lou’ana.

January ends as busy as it started. The classic Christian youth Festival One, which runs Jan. 28-31, is moving to a new location this year and is set to take place in Hartford, Karapiro, for the first time.

Line-up will include Albert Street, Smokefree Rockquest winners, Auckland alternative metal band Enoch, surf rock singer Bluey Green and NZ Music Awards winner Derek Lind.

Mitch James will join Benee at the Dance Farm Festival.  Photo / Supplied
Mitch James will join Benee at the Dance Farm Festival. Photo / Supplied

Nearby, at the Okoroire Hot Spring Hotel, outside Tirau, the That Weekend festival kicks off January 29-30. Organized by Nextgen Touring co-founders Kurt Barker and James Bristow, That Weekend hosts a lineup of local acts, including The Black Seeds, Pixie Lane, Leisure and Summer Thieves, and its first international issue: Belgian artist Netsky.

Unlike most conventional camping festivals, attendees will have access to all hotel facilities including hot showers, restaurant, pub, tennis courts as well as the famous natural hot spring and golf course. 9 hole golf course.

At the end of February, Beach Hop organizer Noddy Watts invited to the Hootnanny Country Rock Festival in Thames. From February 25 to 27, he brings an American country touch to the Coromandel with a car show, truck parade, rides, motorcycle and barrel races, monster trucks and of course lots of country music.

Hootnanny’s lineup includes Kiwi Country veterans Eddie Low, Dennis Marsh, Brendan Dugan, Gray Bartlett as well as popular artists such as Jody Direen, Cam Scott, Jenny Mitchell and Dust and Gold.

Whangamata Beach Hop legend Noddy Watts has two Coromandel festivals scheduled this summer.  Photo / Alison Smith
Whangamata Beach Hop legend Noddy Watts has two Coromandel festivals scheduled this summer. Photo / Alison Smith

• For more information on the Sundown Festival, click here.

• For more information on the Dance Farm festival click here.

• For more information on the Kickdown Festival, click here.

• For more information on the Soundsplash festival click here.

• For more information on Festival One, click here.

• For more information on That Weekend, click here.

• For more information on Hootnanny, click here.


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