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

Tapapakanga Regional Park was heaving on Friday afternoon as 6500 Splore-goers flocked to the east coast reserve for the three-day festival.

The site, just south of Maraetai, seemed to have a bit of trouble dealing with the huge number of people trying to find their way on the gravel roads. There were tears at one information tent as a woman struggled with her camping frustrations and some hi-vis volunteers were a little over-zealous.

But, to be fair, they were sweating in the harsh Auckland sun and commanding their posts, as they were asked to do.


But once the camping admin was complete, the crowd was spread across the huge venue, where Splore was held for the fourth year in a row.

It was a mixed bunch - dreadlocked 20-somethings, babes in their denim cut-offs and plenty of families with littlies in tow.

It's only hours in to breaking my Splore virginity, but the mayhem at the gates was well worth the chilled out vibe that is contagious down here.

There's plenty going on - a powhiri to get the day underway, couples tying the knot, pop-bars playing groovy tunes, stalls selling all sorts of clothing, trinkets and custom-made jandals and the schedule for this evening is filled with musical highlights - Soul II Soul Sound System, Optimus Gryme and one of the festival's biggest draw cards, Erykah Badu.

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