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Big plans for summer concert

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

Memorial Park in Masterton is likely to host more world-class performers in the future after receiving a tick of approval following Ladyhawke’s “special” performance.

Masterton born-and-raised singer-songwriter Pip Brown, aka Ladyhawke, performed in front of over 2000 people on Friday night in what was a positive sign for potential future concerts in the region.

Organiser Matthew Sherry said there had been concerns around Memorial Park’s ability to host an event of this magnitude, but it had come through with flying colours.

“I think that’s the key point — we haven’t run this before.

“The venue was a really important thing.

“Things like putting the matting over the turf and getting the stage on there — it was great to see how successful all that was.”

They could now plan future concerts with confidence, knowing the “tremendous” venue could cope with the demands of hosting an internationally acclaimed performer, he said.

Although they had hoped for a bigger crowd, Mr Sherry said it was a “very, very good starting point”.

“We’re keen to go again next year.

“It’s not every day you’re able to get a star of that calibre to Masterton so we’re very lucky to do so — it was a great start.”

There was a process to be worked through to see what could be improved for future events, but the outlook was positive.

“We’ll get feedback from all sorts, and talk to some of the key stakeholders that were involved in terms of what we did well, what we did bad, and what we could do better.”

Event co-organiser Bob Francis said the feedback from the event had been wonderful.

“[Ladyhawke] is quite special and I’m not too sure the region understands just how good she is — she’s one of our homegrown daughters.

“She’s a pretty special woman, too, and she had a lovely connection with everyone she met and with the crowd as well.”

The event’s success had provided motivation to ensure Masterton could boast events of this nature in the future, although minor details might change, Mr Francis said.

“We’d probably run it a wee bit more into February.

“We would probably look at running two nights, where you’d run that sort of show the first night, and then do something more middle-of-the-road the second night.

“There’s quite a big cost to get the sound and stage set up, so running a second night there isn’t really any extra cost.”

Friday’s concert had been a successful trial run, and he hoped Ladyhawke would return soon.

“I think in a year or two we’ll get her back.

“She comes home quite regularly and she’s said Masterton is still her home.”

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