Rising star makes crowd's day at Summerfest

By Amy McGillivray

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Some of Kiwi music's biggest names played at the Summerfest music festival, but it was the Bay's own young singing sensation that really wowed the crowd.

I Am Giant, Titanium and J Williams headlined the family day out at Mount Maunganui's Blake Park on Saturday, but it was 12-year-old Oropi boy Fletcher Oxford who really stole the show.

Tauranga resident Nicola Farrant, who went with her family and friends, said the youngster's performance was a highlight of the day.

"That little guy Fletcher, I thought he was fantastic."

Fletcher made a name for himself late last year with his original songs dedicated to his missing cat Sushi, on the television talent show New Zealand's Got Talent.

Mrs Farrant, her husband and her two children, aged 5 and 10, were among more than 8000 people who turned up to enjoy the activities and music on offer.

"I thought is was fabulous. It was really, really well organised, and there was so much for the kids to do and you didn't need to pay for it all," she said.

Her children particularly enjoyed playing giant snakes and ladders and watching the BMX riders and basketball players.

"We just loved all the water stations and sunblock stations," she said.

In its second year, Mrs Farrant said she would not hesitate to take her family back to the festival next year.

"It was a really good day," she said. "I just felt really safe. It was cool."

Organiser and Creative Tauranga chief executive Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell was thrilled with the turnout and the scorching weather.

"It was absolutely fantastic. The weather gods turned it on for us," she said. "I was really impressed that we hit that target market of 'tweenagers'. It was just a great family day out. There was no trouble at all."

The numbers were yet to be finalised but Ms Rudduck-Gudsell said a count of heads done mid-afternoon put the crowd at about 8000.

She said the Urban Dance crew and Fetcher Oxford got the crowd going.

"Fletcher Oxford, he was a huge hit. I think that little guy was quite surprised with the number of screams."

Ms Rudduck-Gudsell said the highlight for her was the number of young people who attended the festival.

"That's who it's for. It's an event for them," she said.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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