Mudtopia organisers are expecting a fun weekend, despite slower-than-expected ticket sales.
The three-day festival, which involves a variety of mud-based events and musical acts, begins today at the Arawa Park Racecourse in Rotorua.
Festival director Scott Rice said transforming the racecourse into a "mud and music wonderland" had taken a few days.
The festival set-up started on Monday and the final touches will be completed this morning. "It's exciting to see everything taking shape," Rice said.
"Everyone is really looking forward to seeing just how much fun we know festival visitors will have - it's going to be an unforgettable and totally unique event."
Despite the event having "so many different activities and experiences" to choose from Rice said ticket sales were slower than expected.
"It's a really busy summer this year with so many events and festivals for people to choose from.
"We are really looking forward to putting on a great festival this weekend and would love to see plenty of people come along and buy their tickets at the gate."
Over recent weeks organisers have given hundreds of tickets away through media outlets, at the Night Market and dropping them off to companies around Rotorua.
"It has always been part of the marketing and promotional strategy to give as many Rotorua locals as possible the opportunity to come along and experience the Mudtopia Festival for themselves," Rice said.
The festival will include a Mud Arena, Mud Run, Mud Games zone with challenges like the dunk tank, horizontal mud bungy, gumboot throwing, jousting, inflatable and mud-therapy treatments in the Mud Day Spa.
If you don't want to get too muddy there will also be live music, local performers, food and drinks.
Saturday night's main concert will be headlined by Australian electronic act Peking Duk and Kiwis Shapeshifter.
"It's set to be a great event for the whole family to enjoy," Rice said.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the Rotorua Lakes Council had decided the event had "merit and potential economic benefit for Rotorua" so she certainly hoped it would be a success.
"I'll be there for a while on Saturday to check it out and I look forward to seeing how it all looks.
"Mudtopia is a new concept here but we hope locals, and others, will support it, go along to see it for themselves and enjoy the activities and entertainment."
Council arts and culture director Stewart Brown said the festival was a totally new concept so it had been hard to predict exactly what the response would be.
"We obviously want it to be a success and to put on a great experience and we hope locals will take the opportunity to get behind the event.
"It's not too late if people haven't decided yet – there will be ticket sales at the gate."
The council agreed to commit to and invest in the event in December 2015.
It committed to spending up to $500,000 from events budgets, subject to government investment.
In June 2016 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced a $1.5 million investment over five years.
A grant was also received from NZCT.
Brown said the financial situation would be reported to the council once they had "wrapped everything up".
The event is owned by the council with a specialist event management company appointed to deliver the event.
The festival was inspired by South Korea's internationally renowned Boryeong Mud Festival, which has been running for 20 years.
What: Rotorua Mudtopia Festival
Where: Arawa Park Racecourse
When:Today until Sunday
Cost: R18 concert ticket and Mudpass $69, Mudpass adult $53 under 18 $35.50, family Mudpass $143 for 2x adults and 2x children