A new local events company is looking to combine music, food and drinks in festival-like atmospheres to establish Whanganui as a destination for the country's biggest music acts.
The new company, Lost Art Event Management, is run by Gioia Damosso and Koert Wegman.
The idea to start an events company spawned from the two having experience in the hospitality and events industry, and seeing an opportunity in Whanganui.
"Everything is lining up for it to be the right time," Damosso said.
"We've both been doing our own sort of mini-events for the last few years and for both of us it's always been an after-hours, in your own time, type thing, but it's getting to the point now where it needs to be pushed to a large scale.
"There's a gap in the market, no one else is doing these big events so it's time to crack into it."
The company is planning its first event, which will be held at an outdoor venue, for May next year.
"It's going to be a New Zealand boutique distillery [event], so you're looking at gins, whiskeys, vodkas, gourmet food trucks and live entertainment as well," Damosso said.
"Whanganui is just booming at the moment and I think now is a really good time to push Whanganui as a destination spot even further. We're close to New Plymouth, Wellington and Palmy.
"Drawing a crowd of people to come eat, drink and dance isn't going to be too difficult."
A craft beer festival is also planned for the end of next year, and the company is looking to hold some future events in winter when traditionally fewer events are running.
Damosso said events put on by Lost Art Event Management will be reflective of the creative community in Whanganui.
"Not only are people getting a taste of what people are producing from all over the country, but really getting a taste of the culture we provide here which is really creative and vibrant."
Prior to joining together for Lost Art Event Management, Wegman travelled the country organising shows with his band Pull Down the Sun, while Damosso ran local wine club events and also has worked around events at a local government level.
"I've just finished with Rangitikei District Council, and have worked for Whanganui District Council, and I'm familiar with the economic development strategies and event strategies for both districts," Damosso said.
"Lots of people leave Whanganui to go to events. We go to Toast Martinborough and things all over the country, and we do have some great events here and I feel like we're already building the platform of these great events like Vintage Weekend and Artists Open Studios, but to just push that further and start incorporating more."
The company is looking for sponsors for its future events, and also wants to hear from anyone who may be interested in being involved, from musicians to food truck operators, breweries or distilleries, or potential volunteers.
Lost Art Event Management can be found on social media, and a website will be online shortly.