Campervans head for festival

A convoy of campervans is expected to park at Clareville Showgrounds this weekend for the Kidnappers Country Music festival, starting tonight.

Ray Beale, from the Wairarapa A&P; Society, said about 100 campervans were expected from around the country for the outdoor music event, held in Wairarapa for the first time this year.

"Over the holiday period we've been fielding calls from around the country from people bringing their motorhomes," Mr Beale said.

Even some locals were expected to park up their campervans at the showgrounds for the duration of the festival.

He said the forecast looked good for the weekend ahead.

"It's meant to clear up today and Saturday and Sunday are meant to be fine with no wind, with a bit of luck," he said.

Among the main drawcards was fiddle player Marian Burns. "A lot of people have seen her before and she's amazing," Mr Beale said.

Local performer Tanya Warren, a former winner of the South Island Country Music Show, was also expected to be a popular drawcard.

Other artists include Kylie Austin, Alan Hooper, Clark Reid and Diane Peachy.

Mr Beale said tickets were still available at the gate. Performances start at 6pm today, and continue tomorrow and Sunday.

Festival organiser Wayne Tapson said the Kidnappers Country Music Festival team had started holding similar events in Hawkes Bay in 2000 out of "a love of country music and for charity".

He said other festivals had been since staged in Marton and Wellington, and the Clareville event had come about after the team staged a sold-out show last year at the Carterton memorial Club.

Funds from the upcoming festival will go toward the Wairarapa A&P; Society, which donated the use of the Clareville Showgrounds. Masterton firm Hansells has also had donated a large truck for staging.

Mr Tapson said the festival organiser had, since the initial event, donated about $80,000 to various charities including rescue helicopters, IDEA Services, Hawkes Bay Hospital children's ward, Starship Hospital, and Special Olympians.

For more information ph (06) 379 8124.


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