Details about next year's Rotorua's Lakeside concert have been revealed, including a new funder that has saved the adored local event from being chopped.
Lakeside 2019 Waita Mai #past, present, future promises to be another spectacular show featuring well-known and homegrown entertainers.
Details about the show were revealed at the official launch to sponsors at the Rotorua Novotel on Tuesday night.
Popular entertainers Rewa Ututaonga from Rotorua and Leon Wharekura from Huntly have been selected as the artistic directors following an audition process at the end of June by the Rotorua Lakeside Concert Charitable Trust.
Their concept is Waiata Mai #past, present, future, which will take those attending the annual free concert on a journey through the decades paying homage to Rotorua's past, present and future entertainers.
Among the line-up will be the Koi Boys, Mark Williams, Suzanne Lynch, Ben Makisi, the Yandall Sisters, Jack Grace, Rewa Ututaonga, Leon Wharekura and Krissie Knap.
But the concert was in doubt after Rotorua Energy Charity Trust decided last year to no longer be the main sponsor of the event, reducing funding from $120,000 to $50,000.
The trust, under the guidance of new trustees, had previously said the decision came about amid a new focus for the trust to fund other areas in need within the community.
It ended a 21-year prime funding relationship, and Lakeside trust chairman Ian Edward described the reduction as a "near terminal blow".
However, One Foundation, a locally-based trust using gaming machine funds, has come on board, putting $120,000 towards next year's concert.
It is also looking to increase the amount in future years.
One Foundation chairman Malcolm Short said the trust had been a minor sponsor the past eight to 10 years and decided now was the time to step up.
He said the decision was an easy one because it was such a fantastic free local event loved by all those who attended.
"It is great community entertainment and this shows community support at work."
Edward said One Foundation had "saved" Lakeside.
He said this year's concert ran at a loss and the future of the event had been shaky.
"I've had a lot of work to do in the last 12 months to fill the funding gap."
Edward said everyone was already buzzing about next year's show and it followed the success of this year's Whenua #it'sabouthome concert, which cemented the trust's change of direction to focus on local performers.
"While we were always aware of the local talent, this year there was a change in the trust's philosophy."
Meanwhile, Ututaonga, who is no stranger to the Lakeside stage, said it was a huge honour to direct the show, which she guaranteed would be enjoyed by all in Rotorua.
"Over the past few months, we have started putting the show together, booking the artists, band and choreographer as well as meeting with the sound, stage and lighting experts."
She said the launch party on Tuesday was a culmination of all the hard work so far.
"We will be taking you on a musical journey through the decades, paying homage to Rotorua's past, present and future entertainers. We honour those who bought the swing, the soul, the haka and the boogie. We have so much to be proud of."
The concert will be held on March 9 at the Village Green.