121 Festival planned for Tauherenikau. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

In the spirit of the biggest music festivals, Tauherenikau Racecourse is getting ready to rock another three-day event this summer.

Featuring music, art, installations, a market, food and drink and a wellness area, the 121 Festival aims to be one of the best boutique music festivals in the world. Organisers expect it to attract people from across New Zealand.

This will be the second 121, with the first held in 2020 a few days before lockdown.

While there are contingency plans if the event is adversely affected by covid-19, organisers expect the event will go ahead.

Festival organiser and co-founder Olly de Salis said it would be an opportunity for people to connect, dance and be inspired.

“Be it straight up disco euphoria in a Victorian ballroom, virtuoso musicianship on the live stage, heads down techno in a concrete tunnel or an unforgettable main stage set from one of our
headliners,” he said.

The event will be among the racecourse’s native trees and historic buildings, including concrete bunkers and 1920s ballrooms.

Across six stages, it expects to host international, emerging and heritage musicians and artists across multiple stages playing house, techno, dub, roots, soul, funk, and hip hop. The full line-up will be announced in early November.

It will be about more than the music.

“If you feel the need, you can re-centre yourself with yoga, enjoy a little vintage retail therapy or make a splash with a freshwater swim in the nearby Tauherenikau River,” de Salis said.

“The festival is also proud to act as an exhibition space for multimedia art, in keeping with the creative spirit that fuels every aspect of the 121 Festival.”

De Salis said there was a ticket limit of 5000 and he expected good numbers.

“We had a lot of people come down from Auckland last time and coupled with our close proximity to Wellington, 121 is a very attractive proposition to people from the main centres.”

People staying on-site have options including premium and general camping. Pre-pitched tents are expected to be available.

A range of food and drinks, including cocktails, will be sold onsite.

De Salis and the other organisers hope 121 will become one of the world’s best boutique music festivals within five years.

“We see ourselves as filling an important gap in the New Zealand dance and electronic music festival market by capitalising on a genre which continues to experience significant growth worldwide,” he said.

If the event is cancelled, a 90 per cent refund is available, with 10 per cent retained to cover losses. Refunds will not be available for general non-attendance.

  • Pre-registration for tickets is at www.121festival.co.nz, with a pre-sale on September 21.


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