Herald Online Life & Style editor Nicky Park blogs from the three-day Splore music and arts festival.

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I was surprised to wake up to the sound of happy campers today, day two of Splore. This crowd has more stamina than I gave them credit for.

After hours of splashing around in the water at Tapapakanga Regional Park yesterday, the sell-out Splore crowd gathered together to check out one of the biggest names on the schedule, Erykah Badu. The stunning songstress stepped out under a spotlight, long gold chains, a backless black jumpsuit and a top hat on her trademark high hair. She mesmerised some 6500 people, calling them to raise their arms in to the air and, as she shared a message of hope for a more peaceful world, the heavens opened up and "were grieving," as she put it.

This sent most people flocking through sticky mud up the winding hill back to base camp, but some enthusiastic dancers embraced the teaming rain, tearing off their clothes and dancing in their bikinis.

Once the heavy showers passed by the east coast location, the stayers at the main stage grooved in the wet grass to Soul II Soul Sound System and Kiwi dub-step artist, Optimus Grime. Bars and DJs kept nightowls jamming until the 4am finish.


I woke to dried mud packed between my toes, soggy spots in our four-man tent and clothes caked in dirt. But the sun is shining down, the cicadas are chirping, fresh port-a-loos have been promised and the crowd is ready for day two of the arts and music festival.

I'm torn between wearing jandals or getting the gumboots on in this fickle Auckland weather, but am looking forward to jumping in the ocean for a "camp shower" then checking out some of the non-musical highlights - the interactive art installations and what claims to be "the mystical realm of the unreal in a mind-bending circus cabaret.

Check out my Twitter feed for the highlights of my Splore weekend