The River Sounds Festival has now finalised its NZ artists for the January 30 event in Katikati with another local, Sophie Gibson, rounding out the talented line-up.
Gibson's story resonated with the organisers of the festival. Her powerful lyrics encapsulate the emotion that underpins the event.
"Not only did she grow up in Katikati, but she also has experienced the loss of a loved one to mental illness, after losing her older brother to suicide in 2015."
Since his passing, Gibson's music has become an important tool for spreading suicide awareness and her emotive songwriting really ties back to the overall message of the event.
The final line-up sees the addition of Flamingo Pier, the music collective behind some of the finest dance parties in NZ and East London, as well as the five-piece band Daily J, whose warm melodies and subtle pop electronica will add a new dimension to the musical line-up.
Gisborne four-piece band 90 days return to deliver more of their smokey, swinging blues.
There will also be several vinyl DJ sets by M*A*S*H and DJ G-Banger throughout the day.
As announced previously, Finn Andrews (the Veils), will now be playing with a full band, Milly Tabak and the Miltones, Daffodils, Molly and the Chromatics, Holly Afoa and Katikati's Renee Coffey.
The theme of the not-for-profit festival is 'beneath the surface'. Festival-goers are encouraged to dress up accordingly, with prizes for best dressed on the day.
One of the festival founders, Sophie Temperton, sees this as a way of breaking down personal boundaries on the day.
"We want people to show up feeling uniquely themselves for the day. Dust off those outfits and wear whatever makes you happy without worrying about how it may be perceived."
As the festival is all about mental health awareness there will be a line-up of mental health activities and speeches to encourage tough conversations about where people are truly at with their mental health and to promote spiritual, physical and mental wellness.
There will also be local food vendors on site and drinks will be available to purchase at the onsite bar. Festival T-shirts will be available to buy on the day, designed in collaboration with local artist the Boy Hale.
The event is being put on with the support of local donors and sponsors the Stevens Family Trust, the Rotary Club of Katikati, The Avo Tree, Westaco, Kaimai Law, Robbins Family Orchard, LL Furniture Hire, Triac Sound & Lighting, Digital Flirt and KOS Fencing.
Get in quick for tickets as the first release sold out for the event, to be held at the Woodlands Rd festival grounds.
All proceeds from the festival will be donated to MusicHelps and Te Whare Mahana Trust.
■ Tickets are available now via Moshtix https://moshtix.co.nz/v2/event/the-river-sounds-festival/122268