An estimated 800 people walked through the gates at Cooks Gardens to attend the .vibe Music Festival over the weekend.

Organised by the Whanganui District Council Youth Committee, .vibe featured artists such as Kings and local acts Late Night Tales and Ra Costelloe.

In its second year, vibe. is not only about music, but is also about raising awareness of mental health. A portion of the proceeds goes to Youthline.

Leader of the event committee Josie Verhaaren said the event went amazingly well.

Advertisement

"The name itself incorporates both parts of the festival, so the good vibe that we want it to produce for people, but also the vibe of how they're feeling," Verhaaren said.

"This was its second year running and it was definitely an upgrade, just because we had the planning in place for it from last year which was really good."

Performers put their heart and soul into the performances at the event that aims to help youth with mental health issues. Photo / Stuart Munro
Performers put their heart and soul into the performances at the event that aims to help youth with mental health issues. Photo / Stuart Munro

There were two standout highlights for Verhaaren at the event that she organised with a team of 12.

One of them was the guest speaker, Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick.

"She's the spokesperson in Government for mental health amongst other things and she talked about the issue for about 10 minutes," Verhaaren said.

"She shared some experiences and spoke with one of our youth councillors on stage and let the audience know what the event was about and why we decided to put it on."

The youth committee are currently tallying the exact number of attendees and how much money they were able to raise through the event.

Verhaaren helped to organise the event last year when she was 16 and at 17. This is her swansong before leaving for university.

Advertisement
Up to 800 people walked through the gates at Cooks Gardens to witness the second ever vibe. event. Photo / Stuart Munro
Up to 800 people walked through the gates at Cooks Gardens to witness the second ever vibe. event. Photo / Stuart Munro

"Surprisingly I had more time to enjoy it this year. Things were running really smoothly, our PA team was amazing, our security kept everything really under control," she said.

"So we had some down periods later on in the evening more towards 10 o'clock we could step out and enjoy the music for a bit, which was a very welcome treat."

The committee want the event to keep growing. They're thinking of ways to further promote the mental health message and also include more activities.

"I really loved seeing everyone there enjoying themselves and all the smiles from the kids," Verhaaren said.

"It was great to see the big turnout of youth in particular as that was our target demographic and the youth acts as well."

Not everyone was keen to dance. Some just wanted to chill out on the grass or participate in some of the various activities going on, such as volleyball. Photo / Stuart Munro
Not everyone was keen to dance. Some just wanted to chill out on the grass or participate in some of the various activities going on, such as volleyball. Photo / Stuart Munro

Although they have a limited budget, Verhaaren hopes to see someone like Stan Walker or Six60 perform there in future.

"We had quite a few of local acts, but one was Late Night Tales who opened for Kings and it was really great to see those bands talking afterwards as well," she said.

"Kings was amazing and he is doing incredibly well in the music industry at the moment, so it was great to have him.

"It's really important that there's an event like this for youth, there isn't really any other music event that focuses so heavily on them."