Hawke's Bay's busy February calendar got off to a stellar start over the weekend with even bigger things to come.
Both Fat Freddy's Drop and Michael Buble kicked things off with Fat Freddy's playing two strong shows on Friday and Saturday night out at Black Barn, while Buble kicked off a trifecta of Mission Estate concerts, which include two Elton John concerts, on Saturday night.
Mission Estate chief executive Peter Holley said Saturday's Michael Buble show was the perfect way to kick off their busiest and biggest concert season to date.
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"We've always wanted to try and bring the biggest and best performers to Hawke's Bay and to start off our biggest year with Michael Buble was just incredible and sets a good tone for the bigger shows coming up," Holley said.
With one down, Holley said he was pleased how things played out on and off stage as the crowd enjoyed the show and managed to keep safe and out of trouble.
"We were happy with how things went with minimal crowding at drinks and toilet stands, there are a few things to iron out but we look set and ready for Thursday (Waitangi Day) and again on the 15th for Elton."
In his nearly 24 years as Mission Estate chief executive it is the first time the winery has hosted three summer shows of this calibre, let alone with in a two-week time frame.
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"It's a big boost for the region having strong talent like this be able to come to the region and all going well we will try to continue it heading into next year."
Hawke's Bay Tourism marketing manager Ben Hutton said the region has made itself an ideal summer concert venue and with the added extra of bringing in strong talent sees Hawke's Bay reap from its rewards.
"Hawke's Bay's outdoor concerts have helped to establish the region as a leading events destination, attracting countless visitors over the years to enjoy some Hawke's Bay hospitality and sunshine," Hutton said.
He said that summer 2020 in Hawke's Bay is a particularly "bumper line-up", highlighted of course by three big Mission Estate Winery Concerts, Michael Buble and Elton John twice, along with the Art Deco Festival.
With the big names coming to town and the big event of the annual Art Deco Festival taking place towards the end of the month hospitality and accommodation providers are set to be at their busiest.
"The benefits of events like these are wide-reaching for our region, with visitors not only spending in traditional tourism channels such as accommodation, attractions and hospitality, but also in the likes of retail, supermarkets and transport," he said.
"Indications are that a great many of our accommodation providers are at or close to capacity around the event dates – so we're hopeful of a big few weeks for the visitor economy in Hawke's Bay."