UB40 fans are going to have to find other ways to call in the New Year, and it's all because of that red, red wine.

The iconic British band are set to perform in Taupo as part of the Reggae by the River concert, which was originally set to run from 4 to 10pm. However, a last-minute change has forced the party to start earlier at midday and run until just 6pm.

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It comes after the police raised concerns there would be too many people hanging around the city for two hours between the concert finishing and the fireworks starting. Due to the holiday, there are fears of drunken behaviour leading to trouble.


Jackie Sanders from Jacman Entertainment, who arranged the concert, says they are disappointed with the time change.

"We worked closely with the local council for several months to move the event from 30th December to New Year's Eve, their intention being to offer the visitors and locals to the region a quality music event and timing the conclusion so that families could stroll down to the waterfront and enjoy the first wave of fireworks."

She says they cannot put the show later as noise restrictions around the Taupo Amphitheatre prevent them from doing so.

The show has been held in Taupo for the last three years, but there have never been any incidents or arrests to Sanders' knowledge.

"We must respect the police concerns and understand the impact of situations that have occurred in other towns, where five per cent of idiots ruin it for the 95 per cent of grown-ups."

The concert is still going ahead with all the same acts, and Jacman Entertainment has guaranteed a liquor license for the earlier start so people can still have a drink. However, it will leave a six hour gap between the concert finishing and the Big Bang fireworks beginning on the Tongariro South Domain.

UB40 will take the stage at 4pm and before for the final two hours. Supporting acts include L.A.B. and the Modern Maori Quartet. Tickets can be purchased here.