Raggamuffin announces its demise

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Raggamuffin Reggae Festival, Kora lead singer Laughton Kora. Photo / Andrew Warner.
Raggamuffin Reggae Festival, Kora lead singer Laughton Kora. Photo / Andrew Warner.

Next month's Raggamuffin music festival will be the last, promoters announced yesterday.

Promoter Andrew McManus called the reggae and rap festival's 10-year run "an amazing journey".

"The culture and peaceful vibes of the Kiwi people ensured New Zealand was the obvious place to start and home Raggamuffin," he said.

He did not explain why the concerts are to finish, saying only that "all good things must come to an end".

The festival will bow out with one final event at Trusts Arena on February 18, featuring performances by Shaggy, Diana King, The Wailers with Julian Marley, Six60, The Black Seeds and House of Shem.

Raggamuffin started in Rotorua in 2008 with a lineup of UB40, Maxi Priest, The Wailers and Arrested Development, then moved to Auckland in 2015 after owing the Rotorua District Council $132,000.

It was never made clear whether that debt was paid.

The promoter said at the time the concert moved to Auckland because of failing attendances and event revenue at the Rotorua events.

Raggamuffin has hosted a range of stars over the years including Lauryn Hill, Billy Ocean, Damian, Stephen and Ziggy Marley, Eddy Grant, Jimmy Cliff, Mary J Blige and Ali Campbell.

Last year's event had more of a hip-hop vibe, featuring Xzibit, House of Pain and Wu-Tang Clan.

Soulfest, an R&B festival, was held in Auckland in 2014 but saw its 2015 event axed over poor ticket sales.

And Auckland City Limits, a new festival at Western Springs last year, was pencilled to return next month but now won't return until 2018.

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