The first few months of 2013 are set to be exciting and entertaining, to say the least, in Rotorua.
I've just started filling in my 2013 year planner with events that are on in the city and by the looks of things we're in for a good time with a number of major entertainment events in the city until at least mid-March. We've got reggae, kapa haka, international and Kiwi artists, dance, contemporary and classical music and more will be buzzing into Rotorua over the next few months.
The first gig will be the inaugural Okere Falls Festival between January 25 and 27, which is a three-day event featuring a line-up of national and international artists such as Kiwi legend Tim Finn, Maisey Rika, David Bridie, Minnie Marks, The Bads, The Kryptonites, Alice Ecila and Aaron Saxon. The festival will also feature locals Swamp Thing with Michael Barker from the John Butler Trio.
The following weekend we have the annual Raggamuffin - with a massive line-up over two days at the Rotorua International Stadium. On Friday night we get to see DJ Sir-Vere, The Club Kings, Pacific Reggae Mix, Darky Roots, Common Kings, Black Seeds, Gappy Ranks, while on the Saturday Zkabby Jams, Hot Rain ft Siaosi, Three Houses Down, The Green, Fiji, J Boog with special appearance by Monsta G, Brownhill featuring Swiss, Tomorrow People, Rebelution, Katchafire, Herbs, Alborosie, Ali Campbell's UB40, Toots and the Maytals and Lauryn Hill will all perform.
Just a few weeks later between February 21 and 24, Rotorua will host Te Matatini, a national kapa haka competition that will see the top kapa haka performers vie for the title of national champs. That same weekend we'll host some big names in Australasian music, with two concerts on one night - Saturday, February 23.
The two shows - a concert called Uprising featuring DJ Sir-Vere, Ardijah and 1814 and a Renee Geyer gig supported by top Kiwi performers Maisey Rika, Adeaze, Three Houses Down, NZ's Got Talent finalist Tawaroa Kawana, Sammy J, Chad Chambers and more.
And then just a couple of weeks later, we'll get to enjoy our annual Lakeside concert on March 9. The line-up for Lakeside 2013 is fresh, packed with talent and will highlight many of Rotorua's strengths. Some of the line-up for the concert on the Village Green includes Rotorua's own Russell Harrison, former Taupo man and New Zealand Idol runner up Michael Murphy, entertainer Tina Cross, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Ria Hall, Eve Gordon, Mike Edwards, Sharon Emirali, Ellen Kuiper, Cameron Clayton, trombone quartet BonaNZa, Diamond Entertainment, a kapa haka ensemble and the Lakeside Orchestra conducted by Mark Dennison.
This year is getting under way to a good start. I'm looking forward to all events and love it when there is a lot of events to choose from. Start saving up your cash so you too can go along to as many of these gigs as possible.