Concert for kapa haka visitors

By Kristin Macfarlane

Rotorua's Russell Harrison wants to make sure all visitors and competitors of Te Matatini 2013 are entertained outside of the competition with a concert featuring some of New Zealand's top acts.

Rotorua will host Te Matatini Kapa Haka 2013, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of performers and audience members to the event held between Thursday, February 20 and Sunday, February 24. The biennial kapa haka festival will see 41 teams competing for the title of national kapa haka champion over four days of competition in three competition pools at the Rotorua International Stadium.

With the finals being held on the Sunday and only nine teams performing, Mr Harrison wants to provide those other 32 teams who aren't performing on the final day with an event where they can get together and enjoy themselves with other performers and supporters. He is organising a concert with top Kiwi acts in conjunction with the festival.

"We have to celebrate these guys," Mr Harrison said.

Through Harrison Entertainment, he has organised Uprising - a concert which celebrates culture and Aotearoa through music. The R18 concert will be held at Arawa Park on February 23. Mr Harrison said Ardijah, reggae band 1814 and hip hop pioneer/ DJ, DJ Sir-Vere would all perform at Uprising, which would begin at 6pm.

Mr Harrison said he had been attending national kapa haka festivals since 1994 and often found there wasn't anything else planned for performers in the host cities. He wanted to make sure people attending the festival were able to enjoy another event while they were in Rotorua, which he said the city was good at.

"I think that it's important that we take on the role of being responsible hosts as well."

He said he had received a lot of support from the Rotorua District Council in regards to organising a safe and controlled event and hoped it would be a success.

Earlybird tickets will cost $30 but later tickets will cost $40 through

- Rotorua Daily Post

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