Gondola Gigs showcase local talent (+video)

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LOCAL: Rio Hunuki Hemopo from Trinity Roots performs as part of Gondola Gigs. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
LOCAL: Rio Hunuki Hemopo from Trinity Roots performs as part of Gondola Gigs. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Skyline Rotorua has released Gondola Gigs for a second year to celebrate homegrown music as part of New Zealand Music Month.

Top New Zealand artists such as This Flight Tonight and Swamp Thing perform acoustically as they travel up the side of Mount Ngongotaha inside one of the iconic Skyline gondolas.

Gondola Gigs throw the spotlight on talented music makers while Lake Rotorua and the city provide a stunning backdrop. Four videos a week will be released initially via the Skyline Facebook page and then loaded on to their website.

Skyline Rotorua sales and marketing manager David Blackmore said the filming of Gondola Gigs was half the fun as the performers got used to the changing landscape and movement of the cabins as they performed unplugged.

"This year's line-up is an incredible mix of passionate performers, with a strong focus on local artists.

"There's a huge number of talented people that call Rotorua home. We want to spread the word and celebrate what's in our own backyard as well as shine the light on talent across the country.

"Gondola Gigs provide viewers a platform to make new musical discoveries with a bunch of original songs being released, as well as noteworthy covers."

Rotorua songwriter and performer Stella Maris was the first video released this week performing her new song Losing the Keeper.

Ms Maris said May was her favourite month of the year as there was Kiwi music everywhere.

"The month is important to me as it's a chance to hear and appreciate other musicians, and on a personal note celebrate how far I have come as an artist.

"There is so much good music out there that hasn't been heard that should be soaring off stages and blasting our airwaves. New Zealand Music Month encourages Kiwis to make an extra effort to listen to and appreciate homegrown music."

Trinity Roots bass player and singer/songwriter Rio Hunuki Hemopo performs Beautiful People in his Gondola Gigs video release, a song he wrote and recorded with the band before he moved to Rotorua a year ago.

"I see myself as a local these days so it was a surreal experience being involved in Gondola Gigs and performing in one of the city's most well-known locations," Mr Hunuki Hemopo said.

The line-up for this year also includes local artists Kelly Makiha, Lloyd Akroyd and Ellis Carrington.

"The first of its kind in New Zealand was filmed by Karin Vincent of the Rogue Stage, who filmed a series of 'mini gondola concerts' on location at Skyline Rotorua in 2013.

"We are proud to be involved in New Zealand Music Month alongside other Rotorua music events being held during May."

? To see the latest video release, go to the Skyline Rotorua Facebook and follow #gondolagigs.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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