This weekend Rotorua plays host to Raggamuffin, New Zealand's biggest dedicated reggae festival, but there is much more to Rotorua's music scene than this one event.

It is Rotorua's ability to play host to a wide range of genres, on the big stage and in small boutique venues, that has led to its inclusion in our Essential 50 list.

Whatever your taste in music there is something to get your toe tapping in rhythm. Rotorua hosts the New Zealand Aria, a regional final of the Smokefree Rockquest competition, Lakeside concert, Rotorua Blues Festival, Okere Falls Festival, Glo Festival and various events organised by the Rogue Stage. With the Energy Events Centre, Sportsdrome and Rotorua Civic Theatre, the city is not lacking venues for artists organising national tours.

The New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the Year has also found itself a home in Rotorua in recent years.


There are also regular gatherings of Geyserland Country Music, Phoenix Variety Country Music Club, Rotorua Jazz Club, Bay of Plenty Blues, Rotorua Highland Pipe Band and Unplugged Rotorua - Open Mic.

Perhaps Rotorua's musical strength stems from its history of producing top-class entertainers such as the late Sir Howard Morrison. The city is now seeing growth in young talent such as Lizzie Marvelly and bands such as Strangely Arousing and A Bit Nigel.

Whatever your musical taste, there's bound to be an event that is up your alley.

The Rotorua Daily Post Essential 50 lists the city's must-see, must-do and must-try activities and experiences thanks to reader nominations. We'll be highlighting one every day over summer.

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