Mock weddings, musical mayhem and a magical Empire of the Sun experience all added to the launch of the 2013 Rhythm and Vines music festival in Gisborne last night.

Empire Of The Sun played Rhythm and Vines in 2009 and the Australian electronic duo garnered a similar enthusiastic response from the thousands attending last night's high-octane show.

Out among the vines, glowstick wristbands took the place of rings for "newlyweds'' who waltzed down electric avenue to the Rhythm and Wed chapel, where festival-goers donned wedding dresses and exchanged non-legally binding vows.

Rhythm and Wed is just one of many attractions on site this year to complement the musical performances.


In addition to Empire's stellar show, Broods was a stand-out act - the Auckland brother-and-sister duo of Caleb and Georgia Nott playing an early-evening set on the Vines Stage.

Among them was Nick Jones, back from Wanganui for his second year at R&V.

It was a bit different this year, he said.

"It is a lot stricter and they have made it really hard for people to smuggle things in this year.''

The 20-year-old said Gisborne was the place to be at New Year.

"I love Gisborne. Everyone is just loving it,'' he said.

"Nobody is being stupid or playing up. Everyone is just having a good time.''

The crowd at the main stage was buzzing with anticipation for the show from Chet Faker (real name Nicholas Murphy), his first in New Zealand.

"From show to show you get different energies but I just really want people to have a good time,'' he said.

"It is my first time in New Zealand so I will be playing some new stuff. There are a lot of good festivals but this one is pretty nice.''

The Australian artist had time for a walk on Gisborne's beaches before he arrived at R&V for his 9.20pm set.

"I went along the beach. The water is a beautiful green - it is quite picturesque,'' he said.

Also on the main stage last night was duo Hermitude, also from Australia, a big drawcard for the midnight slot.

Angus Stuart and Luke Dubber said they were amazed at the beauty of the Waiohika Estate venue and were excited to play on the main stage.

"I just think R&V has a beautiful chill vibe and it seems to attract a lot of really cool people and good music.

"I don't think you could really ask for anything more than that.

"We like to bring a really fun vibe when we play. We just want everyone to dance and enjoy themselves. Hopefully everyone has a really great experience.''

They did - punters went wild for their hour-long set, the last on the main stage for the night, while Camo and Krooked and Dynamite MC wrapped up the night's festivities at the Vines Stage at 2am.

The musical action begins again at 5pm today, with headliners Wiz Khalifa and Flux Pavilion playing later in the evening. The three-day festival climaxes on New Year's Eve.