The Battle of the Bays just got more interesting.
This fixture, set to shake the grounds of McLean Park on September 9 when the Hawke’s Bay Magpies and Bay of Plenty Steamers square off, will be preceded by a concert featuring the sensational Kiwi artist, Ladyhawke.
And to boot, Hawkes Bay Rugby, with support from match sponsor One NZ, will allow free entry to the public.
Beyond the field, this year’s Battle of The Bays is not just about rugby; it’s about rekindling the unity that emerged in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle.
Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union’s commercial manager Dan Somerville said he was looking forward to a massive uptake of tickets.
“It’s awesome that we have been able to open the gates for free as a small way to support our community and thank all those who have gone above and beyond during and since Cyclone Gabrielle,” he said.
The union has been working with local councils to enable the most affected people to access tickets prior to public release at 9am on Monday, August 21.
Top billing Pip “Ladyhawke” Brown, known for her blend of new wave, indie rock, and electropop, is set to electrify the crowd with her hits Paris Is Burning and My Delirium.
“Being raised in the Wairarapa I know how important community is, and how important these events are in celebrating that spirit of unity,” she said.
“So, I’m stoked and excited to be playing before the Battle of the Bays, and hope to see as many locals as possible take advantage of the free pre-show to get amped before the match.”
Celebrating the local community further, the concert will be opened by local group, Spitfire – rising stars in the music scene after their performance at Rock Quest, where they won Best Song.
Keeping the challenges faced by the community in mind, local transport company, Tranzit Coachlines has sponsored three buses to pick up and drop off residents whose homes were red-stickered during the cyclone, making it easier for them to get to the game.
“It’s awesome to see One NZ, Live Nation and Tranzit Coachlines rally around us so generously,” said Jason Long, community partnership manager for the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union.
In July it was announced One NZ had stepped up for the Battle of the Bays to help raise cyclone funds. The firm dedicated $100,000 through its digital giving platform, One Good Kiwi, to Hawke’s Bay for the month of September.
Ten local groups, charities or crews of volunteers will be celebrated on the app, and each will receive a share of the $100,000 it is giving away. One Good Kiwi users will be able to view a short video on local heroes, learning more about them and voting by “flicking” their digital tokens to the one they want to support. To get involved download the One Good Kiwi app from the app store or visit onegoodkiwi.nz.
Tickets will be available via https://hbmagpies.flicket.co.nz/ from 9am, Monday, August 21.
The Magpies’ next game is this Sunday, August 20, and they are hoping to make it four wins from four games in this year’s Bunnings NPC. Kickoff is at 2.05pm at McLean Park.