National | Music

Rhythm and Vines acknowledge Te Tai Rāwhiti community as it celebrates 21st milestone

Thousands of New Year Festival-goers have begun streaming through the gates of Waiohika Estate, in Gisborne for the 21st Anniversary of Rhythm and Vines

What has become a coming-of-age tradition Rhythm and Vines Festival Director, Kieran Spillane could not have been done without the backing of Te Tai Rāwhiti.

“It’s great that every year, the Gisborne community can grow into a much larger family to celebrate the New Year together, and it’s even more special that this year we can celebrate our 21st birthday together too,” says Rhythm and Vines Festival Director, Kieran Spillane.

The festival marks the biggest New Year celebration for Rhythm and Vines ever. Over 20,000 people are expected and R&V says they will be part of Aotearoa music festival history.

R&V 23/24 is headlined by a star-studded international lineup. These include Aotearoa exclusive performances from Central Cee, Australia’s hottest producer on the rise Dom Dolla, as well as the return of the undisputed drum and bass King Wilkinson.

“Not only is R and V on a continual journey of reinvention, but it’s also the trip of tens of thousands take each year to reinvent themselves,” says Spillane.

Spillane says the stages are set, lights are up, tents have been pitched, and portaloos are in place and ready to go.

“Cars are full of gas, tires, and oil checked, stocked with the designated driver, ready to make the grand Rhythm Roadie over to Te Tairāwhiti Gisborne.”

On Wednesday the annual pōwhiri with Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki took place and Spillane says it was “a great way to start our preparations.”

“Kiwi and international festival-goers, and the Te Tairāwhiti Gisborne community, have embraced and celebrated Rhythm and Vines for twenty-one years now,” says Spillane.

While Rhythm and Vines is all about having fun, safety remains the number one priority, acknowledges Spillane.

“Although the teams in and around Waiohika Estate can help to keep everyone safe, everyone must do their part,” says Spillane.

Police, security, and medical staff are stationed in and around Waiohika Estate and a text helpline is available on 3960. There is also a place for people needing an area to relax and take a breather - The Haven is the Rhythm and Vines designated safe space and the (tent) doors are always open.

Spillane says R&V is also urging travelers to be safe on the holiday roads, “Whether you’re the designated driver, passenger princess, or backseat driver, stay sharp while enjoying the great Rhythm Roadie,” says Spillane.