Music could shut down main street Levin next year if organisers of a popular festival have their dream to divert all traffic from the town come true.
No sooner had the last note died at the weekend's festival, event organisers Paul King and his partner Ebony Taylor were busy planning next year's event, where they hoped to gain consent to close off the main street to all traffic.
King hoped to get Horowhenua District Council to support the idea of closing off the street so a huge stage could be erected, and was optimistic of luring a major New Zealand headline acts for next year.
"We can do it. It is achievable," he said.
The annual festival, now in its sixth year, was gaining national recognition and saw multiple acts of all genres playing at various venues scattered throughout the town at the weekend.
King said the New Zealand music commission had described the festival as a shining example of a community showcasing their talent.
It's popularity had grown so fast in that time that King said even they were astonished at how many people turned out at the weekend.
He was in awe at how the musical community had worked together and got in behind the event, where metal bands and rap artists could play alongside barbershop quartets.
"It was the biggest one yet. We had 14 venues, the town was full of people, and we had so many musicians with the will to be involved. People get better and bands get better...it was amazing," he said.
"I hope it inspires other people."
King said it was a unique opportunity for people to see and hear music they might not normally be exposed to, and the fact that it was now entrenched on the social calendar ensured good crowds.
"For a lot of people they would only see these bands or this music if they went to a pub or a club
Acts were spread throughout the town. He said there was a rap artist Killa D outside a barber shop while The Vermillion Poets greeted shoppers at a local supermarket, and kapa haka groups ensured the Levin War Memorial Hall was full.
King said each year they applied for funding which went towards advertising and promotion of the event, and was grateful for a $5000 grant from Creative New Zealand this year that went on radio and newspaper advertising.
"I'm not trying to get on a pedestal but the costs are climbing each year and we put a lot of our own money into it. It's not a free lunch but it's a community thing and that's why we do it," he said.
King owns a music shop, Kings Sound Centre, and said there wouldn't be many towns the size of Levin that where a music shop could remain viable as a business.
But he said after 10 years of owning and operating the store, while there were lean times and no overseas trips, the shop was his passion and the fact they were still there was a reflection of the popularity of music in the town.
King said the event itself reflected how popular music was in Levin even suggesting a giant guitar should greet travellers approaching the town.
"We've just got a little wooden plaque that says welcome to Levin. There should be a giant guitar, when you look how many musicians live here," he said.