Marton has welcomed more than 500 camper vans as more than 2000 people descend on the Rangitīkei town for the Marton Country Music Festival.

The 14th annual festival kicked off on Friday afternoon with Saturday expected to draw the largest crowd.

Ireland's Noel Flynn is the international headliner for the three-day event with a host of New Zealand performers set to take the stage at Sir James Wilson Park over the weekend.

"Last year we had 480 campervans so we're expecting a little but more this year plus all the tents and stuff as well," convenor John de Burgh said.

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He expected between 2000 and 3000 to attended over the course of the festival.

"It's one of the bigger (country) festivals in the country, if not the biggest, and it's still growing," de Burgh said.

"The heart of it really is the motorhomers. They talk to each other, that's the biggest advertising for it."

The festival was a boon for Marton too, he said.

"I went around the campers on Wednesday and spoke to some of the campers who were here early.

"Quite a few of them were talking about the money they're spending here so that's good.

"And the town gets right behind it. The council's a real good supporter."

About 500 motorhomes will park up for the Marton Country Music Festival. Photo/ Bevan Conley
About 500 motorhomes will park up for the Marton Country Music Festival. Photo/ Bevan Conley

De Burgh said country music was going through a growth period in New Zealand at the moment.

"It sort of went down there for a while but it starting to come back again."

Mayor Andy Watson was due to officially open the festival on Friday evening.

Entry is $30 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday while a weekend pass is $50.

Camping (tent) or motorhome is $15 non-powered site, $25 powered site (limited) for the weekend.

Children under 16 get free entry if accompanied by an adult. For more information visit www.martonfestival.nz