This is when NZ music heavyweights such as Shihad, Shapeshifter, the Feelers and Broods play in Riwaka as part of the annual national summer series tour. These gigs are staged outdoors at the local Riwaka Rugby Club, drawing in crowds from all over the district to dance, drink and get merry.
The Neudorf Winery in the Moutere Valley also hosts a couple of outdoor gigs each summer. These are also outdoor concerts, but are more leisurely affairs. Locals bring along their deck chairs to sit and enjoy the music and an evening picnic, along with a few glasses of the outstanding Neudorf wines – the Neudorf Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are among the best in the entire country. The vineyard itself is also a lovely setting, so the whole experience is rather wonderful. The bands playing are typically more roots, reggae or folk-based, such as Fat Freddy’s Drop, Fly My Pretties and Bic Runga.
Aside from these major music events during the summer, the local scene is much more organic and is generally played by musicians in small cafes and bars. If your idea of a good time is a heady mix original music and craft beer, then you’re in the right part of the world!
The Golden Bear on the Mapua waterfront regularly hosts live music as does the Mussel Inn in Golden Bay. Toad Hall, in Motueka, also has a regular series of outdoor gigs over the summer which are hugely popular.