Ngāti Kuri music festival 'filled with aroha'

By Kelvin McDonald
Credit / Ngāti Kuri

Over 3500 people attended Ngāti Kuri's sold out #HīkoiTo100 music festival in Awanui in Northland on Saturday, the iwi says.

Ngāti Kuri says it was the first large-scale music festival to be held in Aotearoa since the Omicron outbreak.

“Being able to come together with our whānau after two and a half years of being apart was unreal. The whole day was just an incredible vibe. The artists' performances were amazing and we all shared many beautiful moments," Sheridan Waitai, Ngāti Kuri Trust Board executive director, said in a statement Sunday. 

Headline acts included Tomorrow People, 1814, Ladi 6, Che-Fu and Savage. Local bands also performed, including Papa’s Pack, who kicked off the festival. "On the day, scattered showers didn’t keep festival-goers away." 

“The day was filled with aroha. Music always brings people together,” said festival promoter Andy Murnane of 1979 Management, who says the artists were ecstatic to be able to perform again live. 

The festival celebrated the success of the Ngāti Kuri Covid-19 vaccination drive held over the summer to boost iwi resilience. It also marked the transition to more freedom for the iwi and community.

“The festival was a celebration and recognition of all the mahi and aroha given by our people in our communities over the past few years of Covid in our lives. It has been a huge and at times heavy journey," Waitai said.