Update: Thousands turn out for Rotorua's first GLO Festival

By Gary Hamilton Irvine, Sonya Bateson

The year 2013 arrived with a bang in Rotorua as the inaugural GLO Festival lit up the city, with big events Party in the Park, the Fireworks Spectacular and the Big Brunch.

Party in the Park organiser Monty Morrison estimated more than 10,000 people crowded into the Village Green on New Year's Eve to listen to live music, headlined by boy band Titanium.

He said the three-day GLO Festival had been angled more towards families, and Party in The Park had taken the place of Rotorua's Mardi Gras in recent years.

"We can't really compare them but this event was a completely different vibe and atmosphere."

A line of young girls and teenagers stretched halfway around the edge of the Village Green during the event, waiting for their chance to meet Titanium and get posters and T-shirts signed.

Mr Morrison said after the event finished at 9pm a small fireworks show was held.

He said the main fireworks show, called Fireworks Spectacular, was held at midnight and was the biggest the city had seen.

"We normally put three pontoons out on the lake but there were seven pontoons and a barge this time [carrying all the fireworks]."

An R18 Street Party was also held on New Year's Eve as part of the festival, followed by the Big Brunch in the Village Green yesterday.

The Big Brunch saw more than 200 people set up picnics and enjoy music from local musicians.

Rotorua police Sergeant Jason Owen said they had a relatively quiet night on New Year's Eve, with no serious violence. At 1.40am on New Year's Day there had been 27 arrests for the night in Rotorua.

GLO Festival co-organiser Martin Croft said they were now looking at sitting down with stakeholders and the Rotorua police to gain feedback for next year's festival.

"We want to grow GLO. We have already got some really good feedback and what we want to do is take some lessons from this year and make it an even better event next year." He said the busking event on Sunday had proven to be a big hit.

Mr Croft said the decision to hold Party in the Park at the Village Green, rather than the Soundshell, turned out to be a good one also.

"The location meant you could stand close to the stage," he said.

"The crowd specially loved it when Titanium played. There was a lot of people at the edge of the stage."

While many of the events and activities were popular, there was little surprise headlining act Titanium, New Zealand's own boy band, stole the show for many of the young audience at Party in the Park.

Among those lining up to get a signature were best friends Melanie Jonker and Jessica Leishman, both 13.

Melanie said although she and her family would have come to the GLO Festival regardless, it made it all the more exciting to see them perform.

"They are really good singers. The line took ages, there were heaps of screaming girls in there."

Jessica said: "It is awesome seeing them live. We wanted to get right up the very front."


- Rotorua Daily Post

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