Top performers, spectacular fireworks and it's all free - what is better than Rotorua's annual Lakeside concert.

The concert is one of the highlights of summer for many Rotorua residents with crowds topping the 30,000 mark at some of the Lakeside performances over the years - and that's why it makes our Essential 50 list.

Lakeside 2014 will be the 18th year the concert has been run since local pharmacist Ian Edward came up with the idea as a way of bringing back the free concerts of the 1950s and 1960s when he was growing up.

This year's Lakeside 2014 concert, to be held on February 22, will feature John Rowles, Rotorua's Eddie Low and Frankie Stevens performing together as The Bald, The Blind and The Beautiful.


It will also feature guest performances including Sol3 Mio, Strike, Lizzie Marvelly and Jackie Clarke.

The concert is run by the Rotorua Lakeside Charitable Trust, of which Mr Edward is the chairman. Over the years the show has featured a wide range of artists including Che Fu, Shane Cortese, Sir Howard Morrison and Dame Malvina Major.

One of the highlights is the fireworks display that has become a popular finale to the show. The show is free although tickets for the corporate seated area can be purchased through Ticketek.

Today is the last of the Rotorua Daily Post Essential 50 lists of the city's must-see, must-do and must-try activities and experiences. Check out tomorrow's paper for a full list of our Essential 50.

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