Tomorrow's Bay of Islands Music Festival is a triumph of ''girl power'' in a male-dominated entertainment industry, organiser Jackie Sanders says.
Globally any kind of music festival is a rarity right now but Friday's event at Kainui Vineyard, north of Kerikeri, is also remarkable because all key roles both on and off stage are held by women.
Promoter Jackie Sanders has more than a decade of successful festivals behind her; site manager Tia Smith is a former operations manager at Rotorua District Council now working in event management; and production manager Bex Kerrigan, with husband Milo, is in charge of all sound, lighting and visuals.
Kaeo's Hannah Hunter is running the acoustic stage and the kids' zone while Kerikeri woman JR Hogan is in charge of transport and parking.
None were chosen for their gender, Sanders said.
''They really are the best people for the job, they're all professionals in their field. But it really is fantastic to look around my team and see so many strong, capable women,'' she said.
''It should be pretty inspiring for any girls wanting to get into the music and entertainment industry which has been, and still is, pretty male dominated. But there are women out there doing it and doing it to the highest standard.''
The girl power theme continues on stage with a female-dominated programme.
Pop singer Benee, whose international following makes her New Zealand's biggest music export since Lorde, will be joined by country/soul singer Tami Neilson and multi-award-winning indie-pop band The Beths fronted by Elizabeth Stokes.
The acoustic stage boasts an all-women line-up including Taylah Barker, a former Kerikeri singer coming home to perform at the festival. Male acts in the mix include iconic Kiwi musician Dave Dobbyn — that's Sir Dave now after his New Year's Queen's Honour — and Avondale rapper Melodownz.
While the Covid pandemic had kept international artists away, it also gave Northland a chance to secure top local acts.
''We normally wouldn't have got an artist like Benee, she's in huge demand overseas. If the borders were open she'd be touring internationally.''
As in previous years, Sanders' aim had been to bring together a wide range of styles.
''It's a real mix. We've got five of the hottest acts in New Zealand at the moment.''
The first Bay of Islands Music Festival, which evolved from the Ragamuffin reggae festival Sanders used to organise in Rotorua, featured reggae legend Jimmy Cliff in the grounds of the Copthorne Hotel at Waitangi in 2018.
The second and third editions, headlined by UB40 and Shaggy/Shihad, were held at the sport fields at Waitangi. The 2021 festival is the first to be held in Kerikeri.
■ Tickets are still available online at eventfinda.co.nz. Be warned that ticket re-sale scams are rife on Facebook and Viagogo and any dodgy tickets won't be honoured at the gate. The gates at Kainui Vineyard on Kapiro Rd, north of Kerikeri off SH10, open at 3pm.