One Love: Wet weather hasn’t dampened ‘perfect vibes’

Friends Paris Hatcher, Paanga Te Rangi Smith and Māia Morey enjoying the performance of Sunday's first One Love artist, Tauranga band Corella. Photo / Maryana Garcia / NZME

Not even wet weather could get in the way of 15,000 reggae music fans who filled the Tauranga Domain with dancing and singing over the Auckland Anniversary weekend for One Love 2024.

Festivalgoers started lining up along Tauranga’s Cameron Rd more than two hours before gates were set to open today.

And heavy rainfall later in the day did not stop festivalgoers from enjoying the festival’s food, music and “perfect” vibes.

The iconic two-day reggae music festival began on Saturday, promising a line-up of 50 artists including Sean Paul, UB40 and Sons of Zion.

Other local acts include Jackson Owens, Nesian Mystik, and Tauranga’s own Corella.

TJ and Huri opened the festival on Saturday while Rotorua band ORA, in their One Love debut, was set to be one of the festival’s closing acts on Sunday night.

It was the first One Love festival to be held since 2022 when the concert could not go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions. Last year, the event was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions.

More than 15,000 people from all over New Zealand and as far abroad as Japan and Finland flocked to Wharepai Domain to cheer on their favourite artists.

“I met a guy from France,” Richard Poti of Hastings said.

Poti and his family were the first in line at the One Love gate on Sunday morning.

“It’s been great. The vibe’s been positive,” Poti said.

“We wanted to get in early so we could stand at the front of the stage, get a good view.”

Richard Poti (left), Rihari Poti and Whetu Meihana were the first in line at the One Love gates on Sunday. Photo / Maryana Garcia / NZME

Whetu Meihana from Auckland said Saturday had been “packed” and the atmosphere at the festival was “buzzy”.

Mitch Dalton from Coromandel said this was his first One Love festival experience and the weekend’s vibes had been “perfect”.

“We’re all here for the same reason. It’s all about the music and everyone was excited,” Dalton said.

“The set-up is great. It caters for everyone.”

Friends Nikkie Te Moni and Laura Reid and Mitch Dalton (right), from Coromandel. Dalton said this, his first One Love experience, was "perfect". Photo / Maryana Garcia / NZME

Kaea Adams from Auckland said she and her friends Kahu More and Sharlene Morunga had decided to go camping for their first One Love festival weekend.

“I always heard One Love was so good. My family has raved about it so I had to go experience it for myself.”

Adams said One Love was “amazing” and she was most excited to see Spawnbreezie and Fiji perform live.

Friends Kahu More, Sharlene Morunga and Kaea Adams (right), from Auckland camped out in Tauranga for the festival weekend. Photo / Maryana Garcia / NZME

Rain started falling as One Love 2024′s first artist in the Sunday lineup, Tauranga band Corella, took to the stage.

But festival-goers did not let the wet weather stop them from jumping up and down in front of the stage.

Many just threw on brightly coloured plastic ponchos and kept dancing.

One Love Festival promoter Glenn Meikle said the event organisers were “all excited for the re-invigoration of One Love”.

“One Love has always been a staple on Aotearoa’s summer festival calendar and we’re pleased that 2024 marks the return of this ultimate reggae celebration.”