Ticket sales for Rotorua's fifth annual reggae festival Raggamuffin are slower than usual but organisers expect good weather to provide a boost.
Raggamuffin 2012 is at Rotorua International Stadium on January 27 and 28 and festival director Jackie Sanders says so far slightly more than 10,000 tickets have been sold for the Saturday. Although that's lower than usual, she expects things to pick up in the last couple of weeks before the event.
"We always do about 10,000 in the last couple of weeks," she said.
While she acknowledged people were probably finding it hard to buy tickets because of the tough financial climate, Ms Sanders said she believed the weather was partly to blame for the slower-than-normal sales.
She said wet weather made people hesitant to buy outdoor festival tickets but, given the predictions for good weather over the next week or so, she expected sales to increase and was still hopeful 20,000 to 25,000 people would turn up.
"I think it's a lot to do with the weather. Every day the sun has come out the sales [rise]."
Rotorua accommodation providers were reporting a mixed bag for the Auckland Anniversary Weekend.
Cactus Jack Backpackers manager Dan O'Connor said they had been booked out with festival-goers for months. He was having to turn people wanting to attend the festival away daily and he believed most of the other cheaper accommodation providers were experiencing the same thing.
"Word is around town everybody else [backpackers] is exactly the same as well."
Mr O'Connor said they often had regulars who booked after each festival while others had booked from July.
Rotorua Association of Motels chairwoman Fiona Suurenbroek from the Cedarwood Lakeside Resort said it seemed to be a mixed bag for moteliers for Raggamuffin weekend.
Most of the city's motels still had available rooms for next weekend, she said, but they were hoping to fill up closer to the date.
This year's festival features the likes of Ali Campbell, J-Boog, Spawnbreezie, Sly and Robbie, Arrested Development, Billy Ocean and Big Mountain. Chad Chambers will join other New Zealand performers Kora and Three Houses Down on the main stage and a second stage will feature Kiwi artists NRG Rising, Foundation, Soljah, Tomorrow People, Cornerstone Roots, House of Shem and international artists NKulee Dube.
Friday night will see a mix of bands and DJs plus the night market.
Saturday will feature more than 12 hours of music on two stages and twice as many artists as in previous years.