Organisers of this year's Rhythm and Alps three-day music festival say they did not know until yesterday morning whether the event would go ahead because of Covid-19.
Festival director Alex Turnbull said organisers had been "keeping an eye on it pretty closely", and even though there had been no community transmission cases for the past few months, "we were pretty nervous".
The sold-out 10th annual music festival began yesterday afternoon in the paddocks of Robrosa Station in the Cardrona Valley, as the first of the 24,000 ticket-holders lined up from early morning to enter the site.
Turnbull said organising the festival during the pandemic had been a huge challenge.
Organisers had introduced a new layer of compliance which included hiring a festival compliance officer and having mandatory contact tracing.
Over the past few months, they had also worked with emergency services, police and St John to consider what would happen if someone became unwell and needed to be isolated.
If there was a community transmission Covid-19 case in Queenstown or Wanaka over the next 72 hours, the festival would continue but would become a bubble, he said.
Due to the border lockdown, the decision not to book international acts was made as far back as March.
"It was a really easy decision for us to go for a Kiwi line-up because New Zealanders want to see their own," he said.
"There was no indication the borders would open and we did not want any stress related to having to have the borders open."
As well as Rhythm and Alps, the three-day Northern Bass music festival in Mangawhai and the three-day Rhythm and Vines music festival in Gisborne opened yesterday.
"We are very lucky to be able to do this," Turnbull said.
"All the world is looking at New Zealand, going, 'You guys can go to cafes and restaurants and music festivals', so we are really chuffed."