Three leading female New Zealand artists will join the line-up for Whanganui's Sound Valley music festival next year.

In the second announcement of acts, festival organiser Lost Art Events, run by Gioia Damosso and Koert Wegman, yesterday confirmed Ladi6, Ria Hall and JessB for the February 20 event.

They will join previously-announced artists Kora, Tiki Taane and Kings on the bill. A third announcement, expected to confirm more top New Zealand acts, is due in October.

"We're hoping to give women artists the recognition they should have," Wegman said.


"We're proud to give them that in Whanganui."

Bilingual musician Ria Hall. Photo / File
Bilingual musician Ria Hall. Photo / File

Many New Zealand music festivals were male-dominated - in terms of both acts and organisers, Wegman said.

Female artists had told Lost Art Events no-one else had the same focus on promoting women, Damosso said.

Rapper JessB. Photo / File
Rapper JessB. Photo / File

The organisers are also getting the community involved in a competition to find a local band to open at the festival.

"We had a lot of interest from covers bands but this is for an original act which is what people expect at a festival," Wegman said.

"We'll have opportunities for covers bands at some of our other events like Taste Whanganui."

After receiving an "overwhelming" number of submissions from bands keen to be involved, Wegman and Damosso decided to hold an online competition to let the fans decide.

The knockout competition is being held over four weeks, with the winning band from each week going into the final to decide who will play at Sound Valley.


Winners of the first three rounds were DRXNES, Lost Tribe Aotearoa and Deadset, with the fourth finalist to be announced on Monday, August 3. People can go to Sound Valley's Facebook page to vote for competitors Ripple Effect, Dan Marks, Kokoa Nashi and Sahjah.

The venue for Sound Valley is yet to be announced but it will be outside "at nice location", Damosso said.