Splore hailed a huge success

Last weekend's Splore festival at Tapapakanga Regional Park, south of Auckland. Photo / NZPA
Last weekend's Splore festival at Tapapakanga Regional Park, south of Auckland. Photo / NZPA

Around 7000 people from around New Zealand flocked to the Splore Festival last weekend, which has generated a huge following on social networking website Facebook this week.

The biennial music and arts event at Tapapakanga Regional Park, 70km southeast of Auckland, has been hailed a huge success,

People flew in from as far away as Christchurch and Dunedin for the festival, and some even came from overseas, said Amanda Wright, festival founder and director.

"Overall, I'm extremely happy with the festival this year. There were a few things we wish were slightly more fine tuned, but every time is a learning experience and really it was a magnificent weekend.

"We've had phenomenal feedback from many happy campers. There's a plethora of photos and positive feedback on our Facebook page," she told NZPA.

Headline acts Lupe Fiasco (US) and Britons Basement Jaxx took to the stage this year, backed up by international and New Zealand talent.

People could also check out a Splore art trail presenting works from a diverse cross section of contemporary New Zealand architects, film-makers, painters, writers, video artists, sculptors, photographers, spatial designers and performance artists.

Wright says it was difficult to pick a single highlight over the weekend.

"Nickodemus' last set on the main stage on Sunday was beautiful. I also loved Living Lounge on Saturday night and everyone dressing up, the weather, The Rum Shack, Doc Westie and so much more," she said.

Splore is held every two years, with entertainment split into multi-zones with electro dancebeats, dub, soul and reggae, cabaret, theatre and special zones for teens and children.

Splore has evolved as it grew from humble origins in 1998.

Wright took the event to the next level in 2004, with the backing and business expertise of former magazine publisher and Splore enthusiast John Minty. The Splore Trust was also set up as a creative think tank.

Wright, 42, has a background in event management as well as personal experience of festivals overseas. She spent most of the '90s working as a DJ at outdoor festivals in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.

Since Splore began, people have met their husbands or wives at the festival, and babies have been conceived at the event, she says.

For the first time this year, a wedding celebrant was on hand for couples who wanted to get hitched, and three couples reportedly tied the knot.

- NZPA

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