Sold out once again, the popular Bay Dreams festival in the Mount is expected to attract thousands of festivalgoers to the city on January 2. Reporter Zoe Hunter finds out how the summer music event benefits Tauranga.
More than 25,000 visitors have started flooding into Mount Maunganui for massive annual music festival Bay Dreams.
The sold-out main event is expected to attract about 30,000 people in total to Trustpower Baypark Stadium on January 2, with authorities warning traffic jams are likely.
Headliners this year include international big-hitters Halsey, Tyler The Creator, Ella Mai, Tones And I, Ocean Alley and Skepta.
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Setting the scene for the main event will be a warm-up party today featuring Sticky Fingers, Montell 2099, Church & AP, Theia, Paige and more.
Festival director Pato Alvarez said about 30,000-strong crowd included 25,000 to 27,000 from out-of-town.
Alvarez, who is organising the event with Mitch Lowe, said tickets to the main event sold out within eight weeks of going on sale in August.
He said a recent study showed the festival injected more than $4 million into the local economy, which was great for the city.
"It is also a great feeling to know we are able to help so many small and bigger businesses by bringing all of these people to the city," he said.
The festival also employed more than 1200 mostly-local staff.
This year the duo is taking the production to another level, with Alvarez promising the festival will be bigger and better.
"Mitch and I travelled around the world checking out some of the biggest festivals. We have got some really cool ideas and we are implementing them into Bay Dreams," he said.
"We have also managed to secure a stellar line-up with some of the biggest artists in the world."
Alvarez said each year the festival is different and he and Lowe were always learning.
"Each year we get better," he said. "The team grows with the festival and we know what works and what doesn't work and we are always making changes for the good."
His top tip for festivalgoers this year was to bring "good vibes only".
"Let's have a good time, enjoy the music and create amazing memories with your mates."
Bay Venues Ltd chief executive Gary Dawson said preparations for the festival were well underway at the venue.
"All of the stages are being completed and there is a lot of infrastructure work going on to make sure all of the facilities are there for the 30-odd thousand people that are going to be coming," he said.
Dawson said the festival was "fantastic" for the community, bringing in millions of dollars to the city.
"It gives Tauranga a huge profile nationally and internationally," he said. "We are building on the success of previous festivals and are looking forward to it."
Hospitality New Zealand Bay of Plenty regional manager Alan Sciascia said Alvarez's events had become important to the region, particularly after the Sandbar and Blues, Brews and BBQs events closed.
"They definitely bring people into the Tauranga/Mount area from all over the North Island," he said.
"Pato puts on a good event with quality performers and it's good to see he has hit the mark in recent years."
Tourism Bay of Plenty's Kath Low said Bay Dreams was the catalyst for choosing to visit Tauranga for the many of out-of-town visitors attending the festival.
"The benefits are far-reaching for bars, restaurants, accommodation providers, transport services and retail," she said.
Low said domestic visitors spend on average $2.4 million every day and more during January.
"Events such as Bay Dreams play a big role in stimulating the demand for visitation," she said.
Tauranga City Council community services general manager, Gareth Wallis, said some of the world's leading event promoters - alongside stalwart local and national promoters such as Alvarez - were starting to choose Tauranga to host their live concerts.
"This is terrific for the city as it continues to encourage residents and visitors to get out and enjoy Tauranga's fantastic venues and by extension, our great retail stores, activities, accommodation and culinary delights," he said.
Bay Dreams weather forecast
High: 28 degrees
Low: 15 degrees
Fine apart from some morning cloud. Westerlies developing.
High: 29 degrees
Low: 18 degrees
A fine and warm day. Southwesterlies developing.
Bay Dreams 2020 - All you need to know
- Strictly an R18 festival. You must bring valid ID such as a NZ license, Passport (any) or 18+ card
- Bay Dreams on January 2 is sold out, but you can still get tickets to the warm-up today
- Times for Tauranga pre-party today: 3pm to 10.30pm
- Times for the main event on January 2: 11am to 10.30pm
- You can camp at both festivals. Camping is R18
- Today acts: Sticky Fingers, Montell2099, Homebrew, DEADBEAT, Melodownz, Church & AP, Theia, Paige, 1991, Concord Dawn, Ian Munro, Desert Hearts feat. Mikey ion, Lee Reynolds & Marbs
- January 2 acts: Halsey; Tyler; The Creator; Skepta; Yelawolf; Ella Mai; Ocean Alley; Netsky; Blackbear; YBN Cordae; Sub Focus; Tones and I; Gunna; Mitch James; Shoreline Mafia; IAMDDB; Winston Surfshirt; Sons of Zion; Benny L; Dimension; Dirtyphonics; Flux Pavilion; Friction; Golden Features; Holy Goof; Kings of the Rollers; SASASAS; Amine Edge & Dance; Funtcase; Riot Ten; Mako Road; UZ; Skepsis & Bru-C; State of Mind; Sullivan King; K-Lab; Flowidus; Trei & Jabz; Cause N Affect; LMC; Kid Rey; RAKA
Bay Dreams 2020 road closures
Authorities warn traffic jams are likely.
- Roads near Trustpower Baypark will be closed to all vehicles except festival buses
- Truman Lane between the State Highway 29A intersection and Tip Lane will be closed all day
- Extensive traffic management will be in place between Arataki and Trustpower Baypark
- Drop and ride locations are at Windermere, Blake Park, Gordon Spratt Reserve and the city centre
- Some lane closures will be in place on State Highway 2 between Bayfair and Sandhurst Dr before 9pm
- SH2 Maunganui Rd will be closed to eastbound traffic between Girven Rd and Sandhurst Dr, and to westbound traffic between Sandhurst Dr and Te Maunga roundabout, from 9pm to midnight
- For more information, visit the NZTA website