I Am Giant join SummerFest line-up

By Genevieve Helliwell

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The Bay's best up-and coming musicians are set to rub shoulders with an international rock act at SummerFest 2013.

London-based I Am Giant have been confirmed as the headline act at the second annual festival, held in Mount Maunganui on February 2.

The inaugural family-friendly event was praised last year when 8000 people poured onto the Blake Park fields to see Stan Walker and Midnight Youth and dozens of other acts.

The formula will remain the same for the next event, with organisers finalising a star-studded line-up for revellers to enjoy, making the festival bigger and better than before.

"It's really exciting to have these guys perform because they mostly perform R18 gigs, so those who are under the age of 18 can't go along and watch.

"So having them be a part of this festival will allow a whole new audience to experience this band," said Aaron Saxon, SummerFest production and artist manager.

"From the feedback we got last year, it was clear I Am Giant were a band people wanted to see, so we listened to them and have got them here."

As well as bringing leading musicians to the Bay, SummerFest also supports local musicians, including Mr Saxon, who runs the Mauao Performing Arts Centre for up-and-coming musicians.

Some of the local acts that will perform include Vega, RPM, Leilani Taula and Swamp Thing.

"There are not many opportunities for our local performers to get up on stage so this is a really exciting event for Tauranga," Mr Saxon said.

"From reggae to rock to smooth poppy stuff - there will be a whole lot of sound," he said.

SummerFest was presented by Creative Tauranga and Tauranga Round Table to showcase home-grown talent while providing an alcohol-free outing.

Creative Tauranga chief executive Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell said it was looking to be "as stunning and successful" as last year.

"Summerfest has certainly got the big tick to become an annual feature on Tauranga's events calendar."

"It seems we got the formula just right. Showcasing the diversity of our local performing artists, making it an alcohol-free family event, providing fun carnival rides and activities, having a range of quality food and public amenities and keeping the ticket pricing affordable - all these things worked together to create the magic of Summerfest."

It cost about $200,000 to organise, plan and run the festival.

More than 11,000 people turned out for last year's event but 2013 will see a capacity grow to 15,000.

The top three battle of the bands finalists would perform and as would some of the regions leading dance groups.

Ticket pricesare: $10 youth, $20 adults, $40 family (two adults, two children) and children under 5 free.

Earlybird tickets will go on sale from Saturday, October 27 to November 30. Tickets would be available through Creative Tauranga and www.eventfinda.co.nz

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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