Festival a chance to rest and revitalise

The annual Revitalise Music Festival was held in Blackmount at the start of the month. Photo: File

SUNSET hues of orange and yellow highlighted the Takitimu Mountains as New Zealand musician Don McGlashan stood centre-stage to capture the attention of 162 people at the annual Revitalise Music Festival.

Revitalise might not have been the biggest music festival this country has hosted, but it might certainly be among the coolest, organisers Tim and Helen Gow said from their Blackmount-based Mangapiri Downs organic stud farm.

Changing their sheep breed to an animal which did not require annual shearing meant the couple’s shearing shed stood unused, apart from the annual music festival delegates who arrived each January.

The alcohol-free event, on the first Sunday of 2022, was designed to foster a family-friendly and relaxing time for everyone who attended.

The change of pace was something everyone appreciated and enjoyed, Mr Gow said.

It was a return journey for many of the people who had travelled from northern centres such as Auckland and Christchurch, he said.

Some came for just one day while others camped on site or bunked down at Borland Lodge or a little further away in Te Anau or Manapouri.

Musicians Julian Temple and Brad MacClure also helped to establish the chilled festival vibe.

It didn’t matter what people’s personal tastes in entertainment were.

There was something for everyone in the three-day line-up including comedians, opera, classical, cafe, blues or rock music, Mr Gow said.

Dunedin’s King Leo, Ceol from Queenstown, and Jane Maxwell all took their turns on the stage. So did many unknowns as they fronted up to the open mic night.

The open mic night was always a popular event as fledgling entertainers took their shot at a public performance and, in return, received mentoring from the seasoned entertainers present.

Nine-year-old Carla Ladstaetter has already made a name for herself performing as Matilda on the Christchurch theatre stage.

“She was amazing for the age she is,” Mr Gow said.

The people who made the effort to venture to a higher vantage point up the mountain were not disappointed by the panoramic views of the festival.

Music wasn’t the only focus of the festival. Yoga and spiritual energy healing, reflexology and massage sessions were also available for those who were more spiritually influenced.

Electric cars featured for the first time as part of the services available to ferry people around the festival site.

Mr Gow hoped the festival would be something which would continue to grow, but not so large it lost its cool vibe and reputation of being the Coolest Little Festival in New Zealand.

“We want to cap the numbers at about 1500 people,” he said.

He was hoping to secure Tim Finn as the next festival’s headline act, but that was yet to be confirmed.