As New Zealand Music Month, May is a time to recognise the music industry. Vibe's Kristin Macfarlane sits down with Tauranga-based promoter Pato Alvarez, who celebrates New Zealand music all throughout the year, providing many opportunities for Kiwi musicians
PATO Alvarez loves the quality of New Zealand music and the creatives who piece it together.
It's for this reason he is passionate about providing a platform for New Zealand musicians to showcase their work. He believes in the quality of music here and wants everyone around the world to discover and appreciate it the way he does.
Alvarez and his business partners are behind some of New Zealand's biggest music festivals, including Tauranga's One Love and Bay Dreams, and through these massive events, which bring tens of thousands of people from all around the world to the Western Bay of Plenty, Kiwi musicians share the stage with current and legendary international artists.
He likes to mix the local musicians with the international artists on the line-ups because he rates them equally.
"I see them [Kiwi musicians] on the same level. I want to take their music to the world," Alvarez says.
And while these are successful events, Alvarez is an ambitious man who is always looking for ways to improve existing events and introduce even more opportunities for New Zealand musicians and audiences.
In fact, the Tauranga-based promoter and founder of Pato Entertainment has recently returned from a month-long trip of networking, business meetings and music festivals in the United States inspired and excited about what he has in store for New Zealand.
By attending music festivals such as Coachella and Kaya Fest, he has been able to make connections for future gigs and come away with loads of ideas to implement into his own events.
This includes bringing some big names in the music industry to Tauranga and New Zealand and while he can't reveal exactly who they are just yet, he knows people will be excited when the announcements can be made.
He can say, however, next year's festivals will be bigger and better than ever before.
As a promoter and businessman, Alvarez is more than the man behind the city's major festivals. He also held a rock concert called Storm the Gates in Auckland this year and is involved with more than 200 concerts a year nationally and internationally.
He brings stars to New Zealand. Bryan Adams, Machine Gunn Kelly, Kaytranada, Sublime and Tha Dogg Pound are just a handful of artists he has brought to New Zealand in the last few months, covering a range of musical genres.
He's always thinking about who is next.
"I always think big."
And in between major events, he supports Kiwi music. Pato Entertainment is promoting a 10-date Tomorrow People tour which plays at Mount Maunganui on Saturday before touring Three Houses Down with General Fiyah.
He loves the culture of New Zealand music and enjoys seeing Kiwi musicians succeed, acknowledging reggae band Katchafire getting ready to tour the US with Sons of Zion, as well as Three Houses Down and General Fiyah selling out shows in Hawaii.
"New Zealand music is going in a great direction.
"It makes me proud, they're representing Aotearoa."
He said he was also proud to bring so much business to his hometown of Tauranga, especially through events and festivals in summer.
"I would say around $10 million or more is injected into the community thanks to our events and festivals."
He's bringing positivity to the masses and loves seeing people being able switch off from whatever they are dealing with in their lives to enjoy the music in the moment.